When we Christians read the bible, some of us get the impression that God wants us poor. How often has Jesus gotten mad at the rich? “Woe to you who are rich.” He also said that it would be more difficult for the rich to enter the kingdom of heaven than for a camel to enter the eye of a needle. In the parable of the Rich man and the beggar Lazarus, the former goes to hell and the latter to heaven.
My dear friends, three reflections on what angers Jesus, whether one is poor or rich.
- Injustice. When people take advantage of others, this gets Jesus mad. Typically, the rich take advantage of the poor, the powerful take advantage of the powerless, and the educated take advantage of the uneducated. How many people do we see, whether rich or poor, take advantage of other people?
- Wasting One’s Talent. In the Parable of the Talents, Jesus conveys anger towards the individual with a single talent who simply buried it in the ground compared to the one with five talents who doubled it with five more. Jesus said, to he who has little, whatever he has will be taken away. How many people do we see, whether rich or poor, not use the talent God has given?
- Not Caring – Why did the rich man go to hell? It is not because he was rich. He went to hell because he did not care. He was so blessed by God but he did not care about others. How many people do we see, rich or poor, who simply do not show care?
That is why in each Mass may we always remember, whether rich or poor, we are our brother’s keeper. Why the extra emphasis on the rich? “To whom much is given, much will be required.”