“…When you hold a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind; blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” These sacred words of divine mercy, divine justice and divine love are ancient heartfelt treasures to be read and then to be lived out one day at a time. Love will always be the greatest gift, the greatest power and the greatest ability you or any human being can ever hope to fathom, develop and live out. You have been invited by our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to draw near, come closer, and enter into a lifelong faith-filled love relationship. Are you willing to accept His divine invitation? This is the question right now. How are you going to answer this divine invitation?
You have been granted this one lifetime. You did nothing to earn or merit this divine gift. Certainly, the birth process of human life and your actual delivery into this world came as a pure unconditional gift. God willed you and your gift of life and has done so with no terms or conditions attached. As a human being you have an innate, God-given dignity. You have been granted this one sacred, precious and holy life. How are you going to give unto others as God has given unto you? What are your gifts, talents and skills which you can use to give unto others as others have given unto you?
Many people who are rich in material goods or holdings are so poor in their capacity, willingness and abilities to give unto the least among us. Too often those rich in wealth, power or knowledge are unwilling to acknowledge in a humble and genuine spirit their own countless gifts with which God Himself has blessed them. On the superficial level, they appear rich. Yet inside they too often suffer immense spiritual poverty. They are poor in spirit, blind to Christ’s eternal message of New Life in Christ, and crippled in their compassion, concern toward, and willingness to serve the least among us. This spiritual poverty can only be overcome when one is willing to place God as the first, top priority in one’s own life and the lives of his or her family members. Blessed indeed are impoverished lives whose faith-filled hearts are blessed with a great spiritual abundance of faith, hope and love.
For both the rich and the poor it is written, “It is in giving that we receive.” This gift of your one lifetime holds with it the eternal promise that indeed our Lord is with us. Also, our dear beloved Father who art in heaven asks us to forgive those who trespass against us. In return, we ask our Father to “lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil”. These ancient words provide a roadmap as to HOW to live out a devout life. Consider yourself served this Divine invitation!!! HOW will you respond? Let all of us, rich or poor, be humbled by this eternal Divine invitation to enter more fully, more closely into the company of Christ. How will you live out your one lifetime? According to your own ways or the Way of Christ?
-Father Michael Briese