Saturday, June 24, 2017

blessed are the poor

St John Chrysostom talks to us today in A Year with the Church Fathers about the advantage that the poor have over the wealthy.

He says that the rich benefit from medicine more than the poor do, since they can pay for the best treatment. But the poor, he says, benefit more from spiritual medicine because they pay more attention to spiritual things and are less distracted by money and other diversions.

This is good advice for us today in America. In Jesus's parable, the seeds of the gospel fall on stony ground, get choked out by weeds, and get eaten by birds. That's what can easily happen in our lives, too, can't it? Even if we are Christians, we can lose out on growing as disciples if we get so distracted with various forms of entertainment that we don't spend time with Jesus.

This is how our wealth can prevent us from growing in our faith. We have to make it a priority every day to spend time with Him, to read the Bible, pray, and spend time doing acts of mercy for other people so that we will grow in our spiritual life. As long as we keep Him first, all of these other things will be added to us. We don't have to stop watching movies and shows, listening to music, and reading books as long as we don't let them distract us from following Him as our first priority. In fact, staying relevant through movies, shows, music, and books will allow us to share our faith more effectively with those who don't know Him. It helps us to build bridges.

If you feel like you're struggling to put Him first, ask Him to help you. He wants you to grow in your faith. He wants you to put Him first. He'll help you find ways to do it if you ask Him to help you.

God, thank You for giving us spiritual medicine. Help us to keep ourselves "poor in spirit" so we can benefit from it.