Tag Archives: clothes

a “holey” gospel

“For I was hungry, while you had all you needed. I was thirsty, but you drank bottled water. I was a stranger, and you wanted me deported. I needed clothes, but you needed more clothes. I was sick, and you pointed out the behaviors that led to my sickness. I was in prison, and you said I was getting what I deserved. (RESV – Richard E. Stearns Version)”
Richard Stearns, The Hole in Our Gospel: What Does God Expect of Us? the Answer That Changed My Life and Might Just Change the World     

This contemporary translation of Matthew by Richard Stearns in The Hole in Our Gospel calls us to look at our lifestyles with new eyes.  We take our overly consumptive and wasteful habits for granted, while surrounded by those who are dying for lack of what we mindlessly throw away. Where’s the gospel in that?

The good news for the poor would be that those of us so blessed to have all we need would welcome them just as we proclaim we would welcome the Christ. Hopefully, we would not ignore the King of Kings. Why then do turn a deaf eyes to the cries of “the least of these?”  As Stearns points out, our gospel has become far too holey to be any earthly good.

is there honor among us?

When someone steals another’s clothes, we call him a thief. Should we not give the same name to one who could clothe the naked and does not? The bread in your cupboard belongs to the hungry; the coat hanging unused in your closet belongs to the one who needs it; the shoes rotting in your closet belongs to the one who has no shoes; the money which you hoard up belongs to the poor. — Basil the Great

St. Basil the Great was a man of deep personal holiness. Born in Caesarea of Cappadocia in 330 AD, Basil was a man of great learning and piety, a true giant of the early Christian Church. In 370 he was made bishop of Caesarea. Basil actively aided victims of droughts and famines, insisted on rigid clerical discipline and was fearless in the renunciation of evil.

Was Basil the Great correct in his assessment? If so, is it time to clean out a few of our closets?