Remembering God's Vision of Abundance
Read Matthew 2:13-17
"Now after they had left, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” - Matthew 2:13
Reflection: According to Catholic tradition, Joseph is the patron saint of working people. You could say he was the original “working class Joe.” And yet, he is only mentioned five times in Scripture. We don’t know many details about his life. What we do know, however, leads me to believe that his life would make a fantastic country western song. He was a carpenter by trade and like many working folk, Joseph struggled to provide for his family. He knew hard times. He has a pregnant wife, but the rumor about town is that he ain’t the real daddy. Scandalous! The child Jesus is born in a barn because there is no room at the local motel. Later, the family is chased by Herod’s cops into Egypt. All you have to do is add a broken-down pickup truck and a sick dog to the story and you have a country song waiting to be written.
Methodist theologian Tex Sample reminds us that “country music sings a theology of failure. It comes from and speaks to those who are bound to lose.” Well, we could say the same thing for the Christian Gospel. Christ came for the disenfranchised. He said, against all economic reality, that the poor were blessed and the meek would inherit the earth. Lent is a time for me to reflect not just on my own personal failures and shortcomings, but on the failures of our economic system and to remember that Jesus’ vision of abundance for all also appeared to fail…to die on the cross the hard death of a dreamer. But we know that dreams are resurrected every day in the lives and faithfulness of thousands of immigrants, day laborers and working class folk who stand up despite enormous odds for dignity and justice in the workplace.
By The Rev. Daniel Klawitter
Prayer: God, may you always guide us to look beyond ourselves and remember your vision of abundance for all.
"Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier."
- Mother Theresa