September 26, 2018 (Wednesday of Week 25 Year II)
Neither poverty nor riches
Dear friends in Christ, there is hardly anyone who does not want to some level of comfort. People pray for prosperity, wealth and riches. There are many who even dream of it and pray for it, and do not want to work to earn it. What is your attitude to wealth?
Today’s first reading (Proverbs 30:5-9) is the prayer of a wise man who prays for sincerity in thinking and speaking and for his share of daily bread. He says, “Two things I ask of you, deny them not to me before I die: Remove far from me falsehood and lying; give me neither poverty nor riches…” This wise man knows that there are many who have made falsehood a habit from which they can no longer escape and lies flow from their mouths like water from a fresh spring. The end result is that, two people cannot be fooled in a lie, ‘if the one lied to does not know it to be a lie, the one lying knows it.’ The second prayer is about sustenance, ‘give me neither poverty nor riches,’ while most people will not pray to be poor, most will pray for riches. His reason for praying thus is revealed in the next line: “feed me with the food that is needful for me, lest I be full, and deny you, and say, ‘Who is the LORD?’ or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God.” Too much of anything is bad. Too much of riches might lead to indifference or even outright denial of God’s existence as he sees no need for God. As the psalmist says, ‘In his riches man lacks wisdom.’ He also realises that abject poverty can lead one to steal.
In the Gospel (Luke 9:1-6) Jesus sent out his twelve disciples “And gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal.” Jesus instructed the apostles to travel light and waste no time on the way with unnecessary discussions. Where they are welcomed, they should appreciate the hospitality of their hosts and where they are rejected they should leave even the dust of such a town behind. The Apostles went as instructed and preached the Gospel everywhere with healing accompanying it. We all are called to the same mission of spreading the love of God everywhere. Take the gospel message with you everywhere you go and live what you preach.
Let us pray: Lord, pour forth your healing grace upon us and our nation. Amen. May the Almighty God bless you, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen!