“By making himself poor, Jesus did not seek poverty for its own sake but, as Saint Paul says, “that by his poverty you might become rich.” This is no mere play on words or a catchphrase. Rather, it sums up God’s logic, the logic of love, the logic of the incarnation and the cross. ~ Pope Francis
Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ became poor for humanity, not as an example, but to reveal the secret to His theology. Christianity is not about possessions. Many Christian denominations own many possessions that are devoted to God. The theology of Jesus is a personal relationship, spiritual in nature, where Christ lives in you, and you live in Christ; it has nothing to do with possessions. Kingdom people are rich in identity with Jesus, not in materialism. The choice to live in poverty was a fundamental characteristic of Jesus (Luke 9:58), and poverty for kingdom people is paramount. Because of the richness of our context, we are ashamed to be considered poor. Who you are is measured by what you possess and achieve in life. There is a good reason we don’t hear many testimonies for internal spiritual poverty because few of us are in the same place as Jesus or Paul. The fear of poverty will win out if our spiritual backbone is weak. The secret Jesus revealed is that the world could not chain Him down because He owned nothing. Jesus was free to go anywhere God chose to send Him. The attitude of less is more was the cornerstone of the life of Jesus. He disconnected Himself from anything that could chain us down. When are we going to break the chains and follow Jesus?
- What did you take away from today’s reflection and scripture readings?
- What has you chained down?
- What would happen if you sold everything and followed Jesus?
- Why are you reluctant to live in poverty?
- Why is less is more the secret to a personal relationship with God?
- The secret is out, but how come more Christians don’t embrace the mystery?
Lord, Your life of poverty was intentional so that You could be of maximum service to God. You call on Your disciples to follow in Your footsteps, yet most don’t and won’t. Please Lord, help us understand blessed are the poor in spirit, for they shall inherit the kingdom of God. Remove from Your children this fear of scarcity and judgment from others, and focus our life on fully following Your path for our lives. In Your Spirit and Name, we pray these things. May Your will not ours always materialize, now and forever. Amen.
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