His Holiness, Pope Francis, has made it a point to serve the poor, first today by washing prisoner’s feet, and also by shunning the Papal residence for hotel accommodations. For once, to me, I finally see a public figure who claims to be a Christian, actually be a Christian. Christ had no wealth, the gold and incense probably got Him to Egypt and back… his disciples, later apostles, had no wealth, they survived by how each town received them. Yet today, a different “gospel” is preached, and different beliefs are held. Joel Olsteen will tell you God wants to bless you… and part of that blessing is money… but what to do with it?
I ask a simple question… If the poor will always be with us, and there is poverty, why are this “rich” Christians? Rich can simply mean being able to afford the “Ultimate HD” package on your cable, or it can mean you own your own plane. I believe Christ’s point was that we are to emulate Him, give all of ourselves… ironically, there are those of us who would rather die then give up our wealth. To the rich young man, Christ said sell all your possessions, give the money to the poor and follow me… who of us does that today?
For me, this is why Christianity no longer has influence in the world, we have lost our core value… poverty, being poor…being the woman who gave her last two “pennies,” everything she had. Now, we preach prosperity, we go to churches with a preacher who wears a gold Rolex, drives a luxury car, even has a plane… only takes money from “book sales.” If God means for us to be prosperous, it is so we can give it all away… a true sacrifice. Instead we wallow in our desires for material things, praise God that tithe is only 10% and give a dollar or two for alms or offering. We fill our heart with the world, reject the poor, the broken hearted, the desperate, etc… and by doing so, we are not Christians, we re not Christ-like – we may be believers, but we are not followers… For what you did to those who you came across, you did to Christ, what you would only do for Christ, but not someone else… well, read the Gospels and you will get the end result.
To be Christian is to be as Christ was and is, meaning giving and SACRIFICING everything, our reward is not of the earth, but in Heaven. To take a reward on this earth. to me, is to reject you reward in Heaven.
Finally, I would like to honor my father, The Most Rev. John Holloway (Ret.) who for as long as I remember gave everything. even if we would “suffer,” he always gave everything.