Truly Rich

Many times we have this misconception that our religion does not want us to be rich. We have the misconception that it is better to be poor.  

On one hand, Jesus tells us to go sell all our possessions, give them to the poor and follow him. On the other hand, he told Peter, anyone who leaves houses, lands, and family for the sake of the Gospel will get 100 more in this life. 

Further, in the Gospel, we hear that the rich went to hell while the poor went to heaven. Is economic wealth the basis for eternal life? What if the man got rich because he used his talents well and bore fruit 30 fold, 60 fold, and 100 fold? Because he worked hard and did not rely on other people?  Because he took risks and benefitted from them? Why did he go to hell?

The Gospel reminds us that the rich man went to hell because he did not care. There was a person who was in need, and he did not care. He had so much food, he did not care. He had the means to help but did not care. 

Whether rich or poor, we are all encouraged to bless other people’s lives. Three things we should remember:

  1. There is easy giving and there is joy in difficult giving. Easy giving is just you giving them money and food, and then leaving. Have we just improved their lives temporarily? The difficulty in giving is training people how to earn a living. This is not easy but the benefits are longer. 
  2. We are our brothers’ keeper. There is a saying that if God blesses you more, increase your standard of giving and not your standard of living. God blesses us because we have a mission to others. May we be faithful to the mission he has given us. When we bless others, the blessing will always come back to us.
  3. True Happiness. There is a saying, “It is in giving that we have received.” Not only in material blessings but also in spiritual blessings do we benefit when we help others out. In fact, this is the happiness that money cannot buy. Ask any benefactor who reached out to the poor, the smile on their faces is priceless.

May we always be sensitive to the needs of others, especially the poor. Yes, at times we can be tired of giving, at times we can be disappointed with giving because we end up being the villain, and at times we have doubts when giving because we may not be helping out after all. In the end, however, if ever we can be of help then be of help. For all you know, these are seeds planted in other people’s lives that will bear fruit in God’s proper time. 

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