August 18, 2020
by Eileen Wirth
Creighton University's Journalism Department - Emerita
click here for photo and information about the writer

Tuesday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 420

Ezekiel 28:1-10
Deuteronomy 32:26-27ab, 27cd-28, 30, 35cd-36ab 
Matthew 19:23-30

Praying Ordinary Time

Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

Judging Others? Or Ourselves?

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Amen, I say to you, it will be hard for one who is rich
to enter the Kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 19

I turned off my morning political junkie show unable to cope with any more bad news and went out on my deck to meditate on this gospel reading. But the damage had been done.

The big story today is that millions of families face power shut-offs because they’ve lost their jobs and can’t pay their utility bills. I can’t erase the image of children sitting in hot darkness while their parents anguish over their economic catastrophe. What happens when school starts with online classes that kids can’t access without electricity?

What a day to write a reflection on Jesus warning us how difficult it will be for rich people to be saved! But don’t just feel guilty. DO something.

This is an invitation to redeem ourselves by using some of our extra resources to respond to the dire needs in every community in this country. 

Jesus won’t judge me because I got an education, worked hard, lived frugally and accumulated retirement savings. But he WILL judge me for seeing cars lined up outside the food bank and doing nothing to help feed the hungry. He WILL judge me for seeing families being evicted and doing nothing help the homeless shelters.

This has nothing to do with politics. It’s an invitation to save ourselves by helping others. We’re the camel. This is our “eye of the needle” and we can pass through it.

If you’re Catholic, start by calling your parish St. Vincent de Paul Society. You can’t beat it for providing non-bureaucratic emergency help to the needy. It has very little overhead because people in your parish community run it.

And of course, every city has food pantries, shelters, heat aid funds and emergency services that have never needed us more, especially since many older volunteers have been sidelined by the health risks.

We’ll even get that reward St. Peter asks Jesus for in today’s reading. Eventually when Jesus asks us to account for how we used our wealth, however modest, we’ll have a good answer.  Bless you all!!!!

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