In what we call the "Sermon on the Mount," (Matthew 5:3-12) Jesus addressed a wide range of people, and instructed them about the values that were central to his mission and his teaching. The first value that Jesus proclaimed in this "sermon" was, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of God." Jesus immediately went on to mention seven additional values (beatitudes) which he considered key to his preaching.
In this first beatitude Jesus was not suggesting that going hungry and being barefoot are essential or praiseworthy. Rather, he was reacting against the human instinct, current in his day and ours, by which men and women tend to amass more and more material possessions in an attempt to become self- sufficient. The value that Jesus desired his followers to pursue was to place their confidence in God as a loving and benevolent person who would never abandon them. Jesus was teaching us that our relationships with God, family and friends are more important than material possessions.
A person becomes a Resurrectionist through the profession of vows after a year or more of special education and formation. By the vow of poverty he binds himself to live simply, to turn over wages and benefits to the congregation for the promotion of its apostolates and the support of all members. In return, the congregation accepts the responsibility to support his basic needs for room, board, health care, education, etc. By the vow of poverty the Resurrectionist is proclaiming his dependence on God, his willingness live simply in order to share the fruit of his labour with others. It is a bold act, but also a freeing act.
From a wider perspective each Resurrectionist hopes that by his life style guided by the vow of poverty, people will be motivated to depend less on amassing wealth, and develop a greater willingness to share material goods with those in need. He hopes that living the vow echoes the words of Jesus, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of God."
Lives That Shaped Us
Father Tony Burman
Father Tony died in 1977. Father Burman a long-time novice master was always respected as a “conservative” force in the community until Pope John XXIII called the Vatican Council. Everyone smiled as we discovered that in fact he was a closet liberal and the changes in the church couldn’t come fast enough!
Fr. Bill LaFlamme
taught in high schools before moving into formation ministry. He has since been in parish ministry in Ontario, Bermuda and Florida. He now is stationed at Resurrection Manor, Waterloo.