Saturday, November 8, 2008

The Dignity of The Person

A reflection on the Gospel reading for November 8, 2008 (Lk 16:9-15) by Mother Maria Michael Newe, OSB.

In the Gospel today it says, “Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Make friends for yourselves with dishonest wealth so that when it fails you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.” (Lk 16:9) I had to think for a moment about what Jesus meant by dishonest wealth. And then I remembered Matthew the tax collector. We know how the tax collectors made money. They charged what the government wanted and then they charged whatever they thought they could get out of the people. And yet Jesus still went to his house for a banquet. Because Jesus honored Matthew as a person, the conversion happened. I think Jesus asks us to do other than the Pharisees did. The Pharisees who loved money, heard all this and sneered at Jesus. They loved money, it wasn’t people they cared about.

When people want to begin a relationship with another, they give what they have. And if you’re gracious back, they look to see why you would hold them in such esteem. It’s not money. It’s because they are in the image and likeness of Christ. It’s so important to remember that what comes before anything else is the dignity of man—no matter where you are. Think of the impact you can have if you love the poor and the great alike.

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