The Privilege of Poverty: C.C.
“Jesus said to his disciples:“The Kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field, which a person finds and hides again,and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the Kingdom of heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls. When he finds a pearl of great price, he goes and sells all that he has and buys it.”(Matthew 13:44-46)
Jesus’ way of having us understand the Kingdom of heaven, among many, is often through using examples that are very easy for us to understand. Surely His words are not easy to live by, nor do they require us to go at once and sell all that we possess and prance through the streets in our birthday suits. Judgement aside of course, perhaps some have found this to be exactly what they must do.
When we look at our lives, however, for those of us living with relative comfort and met needs (arguably have more than we need) these words can pierce our hearts and have us reconcile ourselves to understanding the poverty of spirit we must live by to inherit the Kingdom of heaven.
Before we can arrive at that point of shedding the interior self and chiseling away at the material like goods that shadow the purity of our soul, we must take an honest look at our lives and our attachments. The closer we get to Christ the nearer gratitude for the most simple things rises to the surface. We are forced ever so gently into recognizing our poverty and also the value of the ordinary blessings that become so tragically over looked amidst the endless consumption of goods.
This should not lead us to a punishing sentiment of guilt, or shame, or a feeling that to be in Christ means we must have absolutely nothing, but rather that our everything is nothing unless the primacy of Christ is at our center. In this way we come to recognize the immensity of God’s blessing and the privilege we have in our “richness” to choose to be poor, or even the necessity of being so in order to see the Kingdom of heaven.
To know the value of heaven is to know the worth of everything else, for at the sight of it the most glorious treasure, pearl, iPhone, mansion, sports car, whatever it may be carries no lasting value or substantial worth. We can implore the material gains of our lives to serve the Kingdom of heaven, they can become the vehicles of sharing the blessings of God through our charitable action. We must work to refine ourselves to seeking the most glorious pearl of great price, that is the Kingdom of heaven.
Until Christ is all we need, nothing we think we need will ever satisfy us or give us lasting joy.
Let us pray to find our truest treasure, making our lives a gift to others by utilizing our privilege to serve. To pray for poverty of spirit . giving rise to humility and living virtuously until we are called home. (CC)