November 24, 2011
Master, speak to my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me. -- St. Luke 12:13.
Recently, I took it upon myself to settle a dispute among three people on the grounds of Victoria Gardens, not far away from the Magistrate's Court. Although there was no acrimonious exchange of words, body language told the whole story. The contentious matter was as a result of someone shedding the crust of perhaps their sandwich lunch, which apart from the littering aspect, would be innocent of the fuss that came out of it.
There was a light brown ring neck dove, a somewhat spotted streaked black pigeon and the bully of them all, a fat head, well-fed sprite footed pigeon. Although there was enough bread crust for them all, Mr. Fat head was determined that the other two would have none of the spoils. I watched as the light-colored dove began to peck away at a portion that was a little distance from the rest, and as quickly as he began was as quickly as the bully boldly strolled over, and chased him away. Not even the black pigeon was spared. He too was chased away in like fashion.
So I thought I would get involved and removed a portion of the bread a little distance away. Even though I was still standing there, the bully came over to chase.
I was intrigued as the reality of life sunk in, that even among likeness, greed dispenses of love for others and selflessness is overcome by selfishness. I stayed and oversaw until there was only a few crumbs left.
How many of us have experienced situations where one person does not want to share with others even though they may be of one flesh and blood? But the fall of man has made a mockery and trickery of the fact that we are all sons and daughters of Abraham and to be kind one to the other is a true sign that we are most of all, the sons and daughters of an almighty God.
The twelfth chapter of the Gospel of Luke consists first and foremost of the teachings of Jesus to His followers. The three main themes consist of confessions that show courage, the right perspective on possessions and faithful stewardship.
The charge that Jesus laid against the Pharisees is that they were hypocrites trying to hide what they were not, hiding behind religious practices, but in the end truth will be revealed. Believers of the Word are to live and speak the truth.
The disciples were afraid of persecution and Jesus calmed their fears, telling them that the hairs of their head are all numbered and they are worth more than sparrows, whom too are cared for by our heavenly Father.
"And when they bring you unto the synagogues, and unto magistrates, and powers, take ye no thought how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say: For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say. And one of the company said unto him, Master, speak unto my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me."
And he said unto him, "Man, who made me a judge or a divider over you?" And he said unto them, "Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth."
A lot of poverty, lack and suffering among the peoples of the world are due mostly in part because there is no sharing of the inheritance of our heavenly Father. The oil, gold, silver, copper, fruit and grain, and all the wealth of earth, sea and sky are not being divided among those who are due to it.
How does one figure out that in a country that has oil in abundance, poverty is rife and one has to walk and does not own a car? How, in a land where seafood is in abundance and the majority of the people cannot afford the price?
What about the men who risk their lives deep down in the belly of the earth, extracting the treasures there from and do not own one single piece of it, or a miniscule share on the market? So many inequities exist locally and globally that are affecting the quality of life for those who are domiciled therein insomuch that Jesus makes it known when we have wealth, we must be careful of hoarding it for us and ours.
Jesus, not wanting to get in the middle of family matters, sounds a warning to all those who would not do right when it comes to giving to others that which is due to them. What a difference it would make if from a national, social, educational, financial, personal and spiritual perspective if we give to our brothers and sisters their portion of the bounty that belongs to them.
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