Monday, 10th Week in Ordinary Time
A priest was being entertained by a wealthy landowner. Just hours ago, the priest had preached on God’s ownership. He reminded the people, “God owns everything.” Looking over his vast land and remembering the homily, the landowner asked the priest, “Do you mean to tell me, Father, that this land does not belong to me?” The priest’s response came in a flash, “Ask me that question 100 years from now.”
Only those who are “poor in spirit” live by the truth that “God owns everything.” This is not just a ‘slogan’ for them, but a principle they strive to live by and be guided. Only humble people can accept, take to heart, and live by the truth that they are mere stewards of God’s gifts. Jesus declares, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
“Poor in spirit” refers to an attitude of dependence on God and detachment from material riches. The person who is “poor in spirit” is the person who has realized that things mean nothing and that God means everything. As one writer puts it simply, “The secret of a happy and contented life is to recognize our dependence on God’s providence.”
Those who are not “poor in spirit” can never be good stewards – can never be generous in sharing their time, talent, and treasure. Why? Because those who are “rich in spirit” treat and use them as their “private property” from which they must get or earn something. They do not see them as gifts to be shared with others but as possessions to kept for themselves alone or to be used only for their own benefits. They follow the philosophy of ownership instead of stewardship.
Those who are “rich in spirit” hardly share their time, talent, and treasure. Because they consider these things as their “private properties” – and they have the right to use them only for their benefit.
The first basic principle of stewardship that we must strive to live by is that: God owns everything. Again, the secret of a happy and contented life is to recognize our dependence on God’s providence. We do not own or control the time, talent, and treasure with which we are blessed by God during our short time here on earth. Being poor in spirit is living by the truth that God owns everything… everything is his gift. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”