Today’s Gospel reading is Mark’s version of Peter’s great confession of faith, “You are the Christ.” In the first reading today from James 2, James exhorts the reader to “show no partiality as you adhere to the faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ.” He then goes on to talk about a rich person and a poor person showing up at Mass. He warns not to pay special attention to the rich person, while ignoring the poor one.
Unfortunately, this is kind of human nature. If given the choice between someone who is well groomed, nicely dressed and attractive and someone who is shabbily dressed, unkempt and doesn’t smell so nice, we are naturally going to be drawn to the former. While we may feel that draw, James warns against acting out in that way.
Show no partiality. Treat everyone the same. In fact, the Church teaches that we are to show preference for the poor. Why? Because that’s what Jesus did. You wouldn’t catch Him hanging out and schmoozing with potential big donors. Whenever crowds brought their sick to Jesus, He healed them all. Never asked how much money they had or where they were from. No partiality.
Father, forgive us for those times when we show partiality to people because of their status. Teach us to be impartial Christians, to love and treat all of our brothers and sisters the same, as You love us all the same. Amen.
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