We switch to the Gospel of Luke this morning and we are given the first (adult) appearance of John the Baptist being sent out to the wilderness after the word of God came to him. When the crowd asks John what they should do he says: Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none, whoever has food must do likewise. To the tax collectors he says: Collect no more than the amount prescribed for you. To the soldiers: Do not extort money from anyone by threats or false accusation and be satisfied with your wages.
John is focusing on greed and our base human predilection toward it. John is saying we need to fight that urge to be greedy and instead go the opposite direction of keeping what we truly need and to be generous with the rest, truly generous, to those who do not have what they need to survive: those who don't have food, those who don't have clothes. I find it interesting that we are not called to give up everything, but to do what is necessary, to be satisfied with what we earn. We are asked to do what is right today and everyday.
Copyright 2009, John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.