Yesterday, I sat on the floor of a young man's house. I don't think he was rich, but somehow he had acquired the use of a house in disrepair. Before he repaired and prepared it for living, he wanted it to be blessed, not just by a sprinkling with holy water but by the presence of his caring Myanmar community. There were over fifty there, sitting on mats on the floor, praying the rosary and singing in the Burmese language. His friends helped to provide a delicious meal to share with all. For Dutu, sharing with his community was more important than buying chairs.
I thought of the difference between him and the rich young man in Matthew's gospel (19:16-22). He came to Jesus and asked what he should do to gain eternal life. ''Obey the Commandments,'' Jesus replied, naming those that speak of respecting other people. The young man says proudly that he has does all that. ''What else?'' he asks. The answer of Jesus leaves him speechless and he walks away. The young man values his possessions too much to help the poor. I wonder how I would I react if I met Jesus and He said, ''Go home and look in your wardrobe. How many of those clothes are you prepared to give to others who need them more than you do?