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Gospel reflection

September 6, 2009: 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Doing something for the poor is like doing something for Jesus himself.

My brothers and sisters, do you with your acts of favoritism really believe in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ? For if a person with gold rings and in fine clothes comes into your assembly, and if a poor person in dirty clothes also comes in, and you take notice of the one wearing the fine clothes and say, “Have a seat here, please,” while to the one who is poor you say, “Stand there,” or, “Sit at my feet,” have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts? (James 2:1-4)

We continue reading from the letter of James. Again, the writer presents us with some practical food for thought. This time it regards showing favoritism or being partial. How often we judge people by appearances! It is so easy to look down upon those who seem less important in our eyes. Frequently those who live on the margins in our society – the poor, the handicapped, criminals and others – are looked down upon and treated badly. They are not treated as the child of God each of them is. James goes on to say, “God has chosen the poor in the world to be rich in faith and to be heirs of the kingdom that God has promised to those who love him.”

Action:

School has begun. Notice those who are left out or treated badly by your classmates. As a follower of Jesus, what is the Christian thing to do in these situations?

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Sister Mary Beth Klingel

Sister Mary Beth is a general officer on the leadership team of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods. She has previously served as an elementary school teacher, pastoral minister and director of novices.

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