Monday 18 March

 5Listen, my beloved brothers and sisters. Has not God chosen the poor in the world to be rich in faith and to be heirs of the kingdom that he has promised to those who love him?

6But you have dishonoured the poor. Is it not the rich who oppress you? Is it not they who drag you into court? 7Is it not they who blaspheme the excellent name that was invoked over you?

I am “poor in the world” when I understand that I have nothing by myself on which I can rely that has the power to make me truly rich. “To be rich in faith” is to trust that there is a power greater than my human capacity which seeks to bring about my well-being and the well-being of all dimensions of creation.

This power is frequently referred to throughout Scripture as “the kingdom.” The “kingdom” is that place in which the rule of love is acknowledged and affirmed, hence it can only be experienced by “those who love him.” Only when I love the power of love and light that we call God, can I enter into that realm in which I discover that nothing for which my hearts truly longs can ever be achieved in this tangible time-bound material realm.

When I give in to the illusion of self-reliance and think myself “rich” because I have the power to enforce my will on others, I violate my true identity and “dishonour” and “oppress” the poor. When I seek to use the instruments of the world’s power, the “court,” to get my way, I lose touch with the power at the heart of the universe and “blaspheme the excellent name that was invoked over” me.

The name “invoked over” me is the name “beloved.” The invocation of this blessed name indicates my true nature, my true status as a being who is held in love, sustained by grace, and filled with the gift of life. It is this gift alone that is the true source of real wealth. Anything that gets in the way of my awareness of this true richness, leads only to spiritual death.

I seek to discover in myself and put aside those obstacles to an awareness of the liberating poverty that enables me to trust deeply and solely in the power of love to fulfill my life.