“Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man has nowhere to lay his head.” (Matthew 8:20)
In a capitalist society like ours where money has become the god of many, human beings are bought, sold, and exchanged like slaves. I saw a viral video of a lady paid to be a dog. There now exists the business of harvesting and sale of human organs and many are lured into it by persons promising to give them a better life abroad. Human life has become reduced to a pair of sandals. Just as it happened in the time of Amos, it is happening before our eyes.
When last did you consciously decide to seek out the poorest of the poor in your community or around your neighbourhood? Do you consider the poor as a nuisance; a disturbance or just dirt that needs to be taken out of your sight? Think twice. As long as someone is going to bed without food this night in your area, you are not safe.
In today’s Gospel passage, Jesus is not ashamed to be associated with poverty. To the scribe who opted to follow him, Jesus said: “Foxes have holes, birds have nests but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” It was necessary for Jesus to explain to the scribe the level of difficulty involved in ministry and the absolute necessity of detachment from the things of this world.
Jesus lived his entire life on earth as a poor man. He was born in a manger and buried in a borrowed tomb. He was so hungry one time that He and His disciples had to go into a corn field to pluck heads of grain and eat even though it was a Sabbath. Jesus was often invited to dine in the homes of the rich but He never sought to enrich himself.
For instance, in the case of Zacchaeus, Jesus did not demand tithe from him but made Zacchaeus repent from the business of defrauding others. Meanwhile, in the case of Matthew, Jesus turned him into one of his disciples. It was while in the house of a Pharisee that Jesus’ feet were anointed with an expensive ointment by a woman who didn’t have a good reputation in town. Jesus went to the home of Jairus, a ruler of the synagogue, and raised his daughter to life yet in all of these, Jesus did not have a place to lay his head.
As a minister, there would be countless opportunities of meeting with the creme de la creme of society. As a minister, it is very easy to have best friends from among the rich and powerful and the temptation is there to forget that we are meant to bridge the gap between the rich and poor in society. Like a blocked pipe, some of us collect but fail to allow it to flow to the poor. Some even go as far as displaying material wealth as if they were in some sort of competition with each other which is not right at all.
Let us pray: Almighty ever-living Father, give me a heart that is soft enough to remember those who cannot afford what I waste daily. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
(Bible Study: Amos 2:6-10,13-16, Ps. 50:16-23, Matthew 8:18-22)
© Rev. Fr. Evaristus Abu