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Tuesday, June 17, 2003

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2 Corinthians 8:1-9
Psalm 146
Matthew 5:43-48

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rich people who think they're poor

"You are well acquainted with the favor shown by our Lord Jesus Christ: how for your sake He made Himself poor though He was rich, so that you might become rich by His poverty." —2 Corinthians 8:9

What if a person was rich but didn't know it? He may unnecessarily deprive himself, his family, or others of basic necessities. It is even possible for a rich man to starve to death, if he didn't know he was rich. Do you know that "for your sake [Jesus] made Himself  poor though He was rich, so that you might become rich by His poverty"? (2 Cor 8:9) Paul prayed: "May He enlighten your innermost vision that you may know...the wealth of His glorious heritage to be distributed among the members of the church" (Eph 1:18). Our "riches in Christ" (Phil 4:19) are "unfathomable" (Eph 3:8). Therefore, it can be difficult for us to know how rich we are or even whether we are rich.

Nevertheless, we must know our great wealth in Christ. Because Peter and John knew their wealth, they healed instantly a man who had been lame from birth (see Acts 3:6ff). Because the Macedonian Christians knew their wealth even in the midst of deep material poverty, they were able to contribute generously to a collection through which the lives of starving Jewish Christians were saved (see 2 Cor 8:1ff). Those who know their wealth in Christ (see Phil 3:8) see their loaves and fish multiplied to feed large numbers of people (see Mt 14:19ff). We have the wealth to make disciples of all nations (see Mt 28:19). If we only knew it!

Believe the Lord when He tells you in His word that you are wealthy. When you believe, you will discover the wealth you have had since you were baptized. "You are rich" (Rv 2:9).

Prayer:  Father, I don't need more wealth, but give me a deeper faith in You.

Promise:  "Be made perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect." —Mt 5:48

Praise:  Once David started reading the teachings of Pope John Paul II, he learned how little he knew about his faith.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, December 29, 2002

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 31, 2002