Friday, August 31, 2012

God Chose

September 1, 2012
Saturday of the Twenty-first Week in Ordinary Time

Rather, God chose the foolish of the world to shame the wise, and God chose the weak of the world to shame the strong, and God chose the lowly and despised of the world, those who count for nothing, to reduce to nothing those who are something, so that no human being might boast before God.  1 Corinthians 1:27-29

“His master said to him, 'Well done, my good and faithful servant.  Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities.  Come, share your master's joy.'”  Matthew 25:23


Father in heaven, thank you for your teachings. The apostles called your Son "teacher." Empower and equip us to follow him by bringing vital lessons to our poor brothers and sisters. Help us to draw them out of poverty with knowledge that feeds their minds and bodies.
Lord, also give us wisdom. As the world around us glories in knowledge and information, remind us that it is only wisdom that can direct knowledge to life and success.
We ask this through your son, Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.  (From


Is everything we strive to attain moving us further away from God rather than into a closer relationship?  We spend years of our life in school, getting diplomas and degrees and pursuing lifelong learning.  Yet, God shames the wise and selects the foolish.  We pursue healthy lifestyles to keeps our bodies as strong as our minds into our seventies, eighties and even nineties.  Yet, God chooses the weak – like the little baby boy born to a poor teenage virgin and her carpenter husband in a stable two thousand years ago. 

What does this mean?  Shall we stop?  Absolutely not!  If the message in our first reading is not to boast of our personal accomplishments, then the message of our Gospel is to continue to maximize our time, talents and treasures not for our own gain, but for the gain of the Kingdom.


If God chose the lowly and despised, how are you choosing them as well?  How are you exercising a “preferential option for the poor” in your piety, study and action? 

We pray for those who are poor economically, physically, socially and emotionally.  How are you studying the poor to get to know them better and to know better how we can help them?  As Jim Wallis writes in a blog posting this week (, caring for the poor is Government’s biblical role.  Wallis reminds us that “The biblical prophets are consistent and adamant in their condemnation of injustice to the poor, and frequently follow their statements by requiring the king (the government) to act justly. That prophetic expectation did not apply only to the kings of Israel but was also extended to the kings of neighboring lands and peoples.”

Consider taking a class to reopen your mind and heart to the poor.  Just Faith classes will begin in parishes next month.  During my Just Faith class, we read numerous books and movies such as Doing Faithjustice: An Introduction to Catholic Social Thought by Rev. Freed Kammer, SJ, and Unexpected News: Reading the Bible with Third World by Robert McAfee Brown.  If you can’t sign up for the full series of Just Faith classes, pick up some of these readings.

But don’t stop at prayer and study.  Get out of the comfort zone of your personal life and cross whatever border separates you from those who are poor.  Meet them where they live and lend a hand with food, money and services that will lift them up. 

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