This Sunday we’ll be digging into the Beatitudes. Take a look at this great article by Mark Hart, in which he discusses what it really means to be Poor in Spirit.
A couple years back, I was downtown in a big city (that will remain unnamed) rushing to get to a weekday morning Mass. On the way up the steps of the Cathedral I passed a homeless man asking for money.
I offered to buy him breakfast, but he refused to come with me, saying he wasn’t hungry. I invited him to come with me to Mass. He declined. I asked if he wanted to pray right there. He refused . . . telling me that God had abandoned him and that “if God was really loving He would never have let so many bad things happen.”
It was a gut-wrenching conversation that I told him I’d wanted to continue over coffee or a meal after church. I asked him to wait for me, as I’d be free to talk more in about thirty minutes. He declined that invitation, too.
Upon entering the church – still thinking about the soul I’d just encountered – I found myself seated next to a smattering of different people…a nurse between shifts, some elderly couples, a young mom wrestling with her little kids, a couple of nuns, some tourists and a handful of professionals starting their work day with God’s greatest act of love (which we call the Mass).
Moments after I sat, in walked another (slightly tardy) Catholic, out of breath and rushing in so as not to miss the Readings. I recognized him (as we had met on a few occasions) and motioned for him to sit next to me. He is a well-known and highly respected businessman, and a Godly husband and father. Incidentally, he’s also a millionaire (which is important to the story, stick with me).