Theodoret tells a rich nobleman that the poverty he sees all around him is there for a reason: it’s a call for the rich to act, giving them an opportunity to serve God by their generosity to God’s people.
When he distributes wealth and poverty among us, the Creator does not judge unjustly. He gives the rich the poverty of the poor as a means for the rich to be useful. So he brings chastisement on us, not only to punish us for our faults, but also to give the wealthy opportunities to show kindness to humanity.
This year the Lord has sent us scourges—far less than our sins, but enough to distress the poor farmers, whose sufferings I recently brought to your attention.
I beg you to pity the tillers of the ground, who have toiled away with so little result. Let this bad year be a suggestion of spiritual abundance, and by exercising compassion gather in a harvest of the compassion of God. –Theodoret, Letter 23IN GOD’S PRESENCE, CONSIDER . . .
Do I make use of the opportunity the poverty all around me gives for serving God?
Lord, send your gracious rain on our thirsty lands, and make the fruits of the land ripe for the harvest. Use me to bless the poor of your people: the widow, the orphan, the stranger, and all who are in need.
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