Meditation for Saturday after Ash Wednesday


First Reading: Isaiah 58:9-14
Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 86:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
Gospel: Luke 5:27-32
 
Much of the Bible gives the impression that God favors the poor.  There are many verses about caring and providing for the poor, as well as a few that seem to condemn riches and those that possess them.  This, however, would be a very Pharasaic interpretation of God’s message & Jesus’ mission.
 
How often do we give medicine to someone who is well?  How often do we give sponge baths to those that can bathe themselves?  How many crutches and wheelchairs are given to people who are perfectly capable of walking?  Therefore, how many times do people have to be reminded to give money and food to those that already have money and food?
 
Money is morally neutral – it is how it is gained and used and treated that is either moral or immoral. 
 
If someone extorts it from their fellow man (as it was assumed the tax collectors did), then it is immoral.  If it is used as a means of restitution (cf. Luke 19:8-9), or as a way to feed the hungry or help the afflicted, then it is good.
 
If it is sought after so much, that we spend even the Lord’s Day in pursuit of it, then it has taken even God’s place in our hearts.  "You cannot serve God and mammon." (Matt 6:24)  However, if we instead use the money (as well as whatever other talents and things we might possess) to do God’s will, even if we do it on the Lord’s Day, it is a fulfillment of the 3rd Commandment: "Thou shalt keep holy the Lord’s Day".
 
We, as Catholics, honor Sunday as the 8th day of Creation – the day when the Father re-created the world by the salvific act of His Son and, instead of resting in the tomb, raised Him up by the power of the Holy Spirit.  The Lord’s Day is the day that we honor God by using whatever is within our power to help re-create the world into the Kingdom of Heaven.  Keep this in mind when deciding whether to sleep in or go to Mass this Sunday.
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