There’s a very prominent view in the western world. It’s one which pervades our news, our media, our politics, our friends views on social media and, eventually, our own principles.
It goes like this,
What’s mine is mine. I will never have enough. If you have less than me it’s because you’re lazy. If you ask for help you’re stealing from me. If you want to be different, you’re eroding MY way of life and are dangerous. My money. My country. My stuff. My way.
It’s reflected in the way the poor are portrayed. Or the sick. Or the stranger in a strange land. Or the person with different beliefs. Or the person who looks different to me. Or the person who loves differently to me. Or the person who votes differently to me.
Greed is good.
Human constructs like material wealth, political beliefs, social standing, nationality and, yes, even religious differences are good. As long as they’re mine.
Jesus says differently.
Jesus says that it’s not human rules or traditions which are important, but what you do and say.
Jesus says that when people are hungry, you have compassion and feed them so they don’t collapse and can return home and live their lives, hopefully in the way he has taught them.
Jesus says that your faith will bring good, regardless of race.
Jesus say that he is “the way” and to beware of the teachings of those with their own, worldly self interests.
Jesus says that we must put God’s concerns first in our lives, rather than than concerns of humans.
Jesus says that his Church his built on firm foundations. On rock. So to follow him, to lose ourselves rather than gain the whole world on earth means to gain everything in the Kingdom. But to put our faith in worldly riches and concerns means to lose everything in the long run.
So, does our way sound so precious now? Do we look for the differences in people in order to protect our own little domain? Do we put our money, our homes, our denominations, our political beliefs, our country, our sexuality, our race, our class first?
Or, in putting others first, do we also put the Father first?