October 17, 2016
by Kimberly Grassmeyer
Creightion University's Resident Life
click here for photo and information about the writer

Memorial of Saint Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop and Martyr
Lectionary: 473

Ephesians 2:1-10
Psalms 100:1b-2, 3, 4ab, 4c-5
Luke 12:13-21

Praying Ordinary Time

The gospel lesson for today, in which Jesus shared a parable about a single individual who amassed a ‘bountiful harvest’ that he planned to keep entirely to himself, has as much relevance across the world and in this country today as it did during Jesus’ time.  This rich man did not seek each day to enrich his life with what matters to God, and many of us fall short of doing so.  Jesus stated to that crowd what he would say to us today: that “…one’s life does not consist of possessions.” 

Many of us are blessed with jobs and resources that allow us to live comfortably.  The statistical bell curve puts me, my family, and most of my friends, colleagues and acquaintances in the comfort zone of being able to meet our basic needs, enjoy a luxury or two, pay our taxes and share some of our resources, and experience the feeling that our lives are pretty good.  Yet, we cannot ignore those who live on the margins. 

There is a portion of the bell curve that lives in need of basic provisions, are marginalized or at the extreme are persecuted or oppressed, and wonder if they will be able to lay down their heads each night in a safe space with a full tummy and clean drinking water.  Likewise, there is a portion of the bell curve that benefit from structures, policies and cultural conventions that allow them, as the rich man in the parable did, to amass their belongings without shame or obligation to others. 

This Jesuit institution in which I work reminds me and models for me that it is my duty and my joy to be charitable and in solidarity with those who live on the margins, to give of myself and my bountiful harvest, and to work to change structures that perpetuate wide economic disparities.  All of God’s children were formed in his image; all are loved and worthy of love and dignity; all of us are called to be rich in what matters to God.   

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