Within our parishes, do we ever get caught up with playing favorites?
My brothers, show no partiality as you adhere to the faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ. For if a man with gold rings on his fingers and in fine clothes comes into your assembly, and a poor person in shabby clothes also comes in, and you pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes and say, “Sit here, please,” while you say to the poor one, “Stand there,” or “Sit at my feet,” have you not made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil designs? -James 2:1-4, NAB
Our parishes and church communities are social centers, and as such, they will have their little idiosyncrasies. One of them is that we can begin playing favorites with those who have greater financial means to help the parish. Obviously, this is not good for us as a community.
Can we deny it? Can we deny that we sometimes assume that the poor in our community can do less to help out? Can we deny that we try to be extra nice to certain parishioners because they are known for filling the offering plate? We want to pretend that everything is fair and equal, but we know that it may not be.
Today’s verse tells us that we should show no partiality to people in our parish. This includes wealth or any other reason. We all have something to contribute to the life of the Church, even if we cannot do much financially.
Everyone who enters the Church has something to contribute. Whether rich or poor, young or old, Cradle Catholic or convert, we can all make a difference the moment we step through the parish doors.