Monday, 15 April 2019

Why no one asked Jesus

Father Ignatius tried something new with his congregation. He suggested they held an “Any Questions” meeting whereby members of the audience would ask him and Father Donald any question, totally unprepared and unscripted, and they would try to answer it.

It was the first such event held at the church centre and that evening in question was well attended. At first the questions were somewhat tentative and easily dealt with by either priest, mainly relating to the running of the church, Mass times in winter, and the diminishing amount received in Sunday collections.

But then a young lady stood up and asked the top table, “May I read something before I ask my question?

“While Jesus was eating, a woman came in with an alabaster jar full of very expensive perfume made from pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on Jesus’ head. Some of the people there became angry and said to one another, ‘What was the use of wasting the perfume? It could have been sold for more than three hundred silver coins and the money given to the poor!’ And they criticized her harshly.

But Jesus said, ‘Leave her alone! Why are you bothering her? She has done a fine and beautiful thing for me. You will always have poor people with you, and any time you want to, you can help them. But you will not always have me.’

“This is from Mark 14 3-7,” she concluded.

“My question to you Fathers is," she asked hesitantly, “why did Jesus say ‘You will always have poor people with you?’ ”

Before either priest could answer a man at the front said; “Good point … Is Jesus saying poverty will be with us always? Is He saying that all our efforts to help the poor are in vain?”

“Might as well not bother,” mumbled another man sitting beside him.

The two priests looked at each other. Father Ignatius cleaned his glasses slowly and said nothing at first.

“Of course we should bother …” declared Father Donald, “it is our duty to help the poor. Jesus was making the point that He would soon be Crucified and gone from the people, whereas the poor will always be with us. Don’t you agree Ignatius?”

“Well …” replied Father Ignatius slowly, “two thousand years later and we still have poverty in this world. So Christ was not far wrong with what He said.

“But let us look at what Jesus said in a wider context.

“Could He perhaps be talking about something more than just material poverty?

“Is He maybe reminding us that there will always be someone worse off than us? Someone who is poor in material things, someone poor in spirit, poor in health, poor in education or even poor in Faith. This may be miss-interpreting Him perhaps but still worth considering.

“We all have a responsibility towards those in poverty in one way or another. No matter how their poverty manifests itself.

“We should always readily recognize our blessings and share them with those less well off than us.

“If we are fortunate to be financially rich, we should give to those who have not.

“If we are in good health, we should help those who are sick. Visit them at home or in hospital, and give a hand when needed.

“If we are clever or intelligent we should be more tolerant towards those not as bright as us and help educate them where we can.

“And if our Faith is strong, we should help and pray for those who falter and fail in their walk with the Lord.”

“Wow … I never saw it this way …” commented the original questioner.

“We’ve all been given some talent or other” added Father Donald, “and we should use them for the benefit of others.”

“So I suppose Jesus could be referring to poverty in the wider sense, as well as physical poverty of course,” continued Father Ignatius, “and such poverty, whatever it may be, will continue with us as a permanent reminder of our responsibilities towards others as well as towards God Himself.

"And with this responsibility comes a greater and more onerous one. That is to answer to Him when He asks us, “And what have you done with the riches I gave you?”

"Our talents are to be used for His glory to help others.”

22 comments:

  1. That is right Victor, whatever we have been given we must share with those 'in need' whether physical needs or spiritual needs. The scriptures are discerned spiritually, and silver and gold represent wisdom and knowledge.
    God bless.

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    1. It's nice to see you visiting here, Brenda. Thank you. Please return here again soon.

      Indeed, we should help as best we can.

      God bless.

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  2. I just wrapped up as a facilitator for our Parish "Financial Peace". One of the tag lines of this ministry, "Live like no one else today, so that you can Live AND Give like no one else tomorrow." The final lesson was how to use our talents -- not just our money -- to bless others. I wish I would have had Father Ignatius' wonderful insights to share with the class!

    God bless you Victor and all your readers...

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    1. It's great to see you here again, Steve. Thanx.

      As you say, we can help others not with just money. By the way, there are plenty of other Fr Ignatius stories (some available FREE) at www.holyvisions.co.uk

      God bless.

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  3. Amen, Victor! Fr. Ignatius is one wise and insightful priest, is he not? Thank you for making my day with another wonderful story about him.
    Blessings!

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    1. Thank you for your kind words, Martha. I am so glad you enjoy my Fr Ignatius stories. Please tell others about them.

      God bless you and your family.

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  4. You use your gift well Victor, thank you.

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    1. You are very kind JoeH. Thanx.

      God bless you always.

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  5. Nicely said, Victor. Your gift is well received, thank you!

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    1. I appreciate your kindness and encouragement, Bill. Thank you so much.

      God bless you my friend.

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  6. "Our talents are to be used for His glory to help others.” This is an insightful and yet obvious statement. Well done.

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    1. Thank you so much, Susan. You are so kind.

      God bless you always.

      Delete
  7. Great response … insightful, indeed. I enjoyed this, Victor.

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  8. A great post and your writing talent glorifies God!

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    1. You are very kind, Happyone. Thank you.

      God bless you and yours.

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  9. Well written, Victor. Thank you for this lesson!

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  10. What a great way of putting it!.

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God bless you.

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