Rich People Playing Church

“It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God,” says Jesus.

I have often reacted to that passage thinking: Wow!  That should keep every Christian I know up at night with worry!

But then it dawned on me: Why am I going to a “church” full of rich people?  I mean, since I don’t see camels passing through the eyes of any needles, why am I expecting to see all THESE PEOPLE in the Age to Come?

What makes me think I will inherit life in the Age to Come?

I learned nearly everything I know from all these rich people whose entry into the Kingdom of God is harder than passing a camel through the eye of a needle.  Like the rich man who asked Jesus how he might inherit eternal life in the Age to Come, who when told to sell all he owns, give it to the poor, count his treasures in heaven and come follow, who instead turned away from Jesus, thus prompting this hard teaching, so have all these rich people turned away as well (and I their disciple with them).

The early church, at least the one in Jerusalem, took either this teaching, or some teaching very much like it, to heart.  They sold all their property and gave their wealth to the church so that none of the poor among them lacked anything.

That’s a church I just have never seen.

What do you think street homeless people would do with a church like that?

I have a funny feeling my street homeless friends would take to a church like that like a duck takes to water.  In fact, I bet they would take to a church like that like all those needy thronging mobs and multitudes took to following Jesus on all those dusty Galilean trails.

I think I want in on that.

How about you?

3 comments

  1. Tim McGee · September 24

    I don’t go to Mass to learn scripture. I go to praise God. The entire Mass is a prayer of praise. Church isn’t a charitable foundation but a means to sanctification for those who faithfully enter into prayer with its traditions. As a Catholic, I believe in transubstantiation and that I receive Christ when I partake in the Eucharist.
    That said … if I am blind to the needs of others and the peril of the poor, my sanctification is, at best, incomplete. Love God. Love other. And we aren’t called to be picky about defining “other.” Whatever we do to the least of these …….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Agent X · September 24

      Tim!

      Thanx for reading and responding. So glad to have you. And thanx for your prayers too. With some of the behind-the-scenes developments happening here at FBHWOS, I take comfort knowing we are in your prayers among others.

      I don’t go to Mass for the education either, but despite that, I do, in fact, learn from the readings of Scripture nearly every time I sit for it. More often than not, I learn from the analysis someone offers too. While that may not seem like praise, I reckon the idea of separating the two isn’t accurate.

      I certainly concur that the church is not a 501c3 organization or some dry government agency/office where the needy can get crumbs from the table of the rich and powerful. Rather, the Church is the Body of Christ. His very Body. His Spirit lives there. The Life to be found there is Abundant. He outclasses any charitable foundations with the Jubilee he brings to the world.

      Every charitable foundation I know is a parody at best. There is a sense of caring for the poor, but a carefully crafted modus operandi dictating that the care offered not be too sacrificial. It takes the crumbs from the rich and powerful, leaving them secure in their riches and power, while putting the poor and needy through various hoops in order to receive these fractions of blessings. That most definitely is not the Body of Christ. Good distinction.

      Transubstantiation is one of the more beautiful mysteries the Church insists upon which I see impacting the rest of Christendom. Jesus! The REAL Jesus! Is right there! His disciples actually eat him! The holy reverence and awe that inspires demonstrates a right and good connection between humanity and God that you find only in the Church. This puts us all on our knees side-by-side before God. The world needs to see this (among other things), and will only honor that.

      The poor are not merely an afterthought or an addendum tacked on to the faith. The poor are central to everything Jesus is all about. Something LIKE Transubstantiation is there in the poor! He IS the Least of These. He IS the Stranger. And you can Receive or reject him, and THAT impacts everything.

      God bless you,

      Liked by 1 person

      • Tim McGee · September 24

        Lord, teach me to be generous;
        Teach me to serve you as you deserve;
        To give and not to count the cost;
        To fight and not to heed the wounds;
        To toil, and not to seek for rest;
        To labor, and not to ask for reward –
        except to know that I am doing your will.
        -Prayer of St Ignatius of Loyola
        If we believe in Christ, this is how we are to live out that faith.

        Liked by 1 person

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