October 7, 2010

The Plight of the Poor

Have you ever lived in a conundrum? Like NOT being able to afford the cost of living? or stripped of the necessities of life? Most people have no idea what homelessness is like, me included.

Wouldn’t it be something if all the poor people were seen as citizens and respected in the world? I believe God loves them and I would like to see evidence of this .
God says : "I shall establish My Kingdom in the midst of poverty those very ones who have time to hear My Spirit, adore Me and do My Will; in these My Soul rejoices!" TLIG quote
The world is a cold , impossible hell without friendly, helpful, loving, forgiving, patient, kind, merciful, generous kind of people . There ain’t too many of those in the world.

This sermon says it all (credits Whispers in the Loggia)

“…How can we exclude anyone from our care? Rather we must recognize Christ in the poorest and the most marginalized, those whom the Eucharist – which is communion is the Body and Blood of Christ given up for us – commits us to serve. As the parable of the rich man, who will remain forever without a name, and the poor man called Lazarus clearly shows, ‘in the stark contrast between the insensitive rich man and the poor in need of everything, God is on the latter’s side’. We too must be on this same side.”

The words actually come from the late great Pope John Paul II in a message he gave for a World Peace Day some years ago. He wished to remind Catholics that involvement in what are sometimes called “peace and justice” issues is not optional – nor it is the purview of those who would label themselves either “liberal” or “conservative”. Rather such involvement is a constitutive part of the living out of our faith. Solidarity as the late Pope once said is another word for justice in our day. It is “a firm and preserving determination to commit oneself to the common good.”...

As Catholics, we must be involved in the issues of world hunger, human rights, peace building and justice promotion. This social ministry is not opposed to the ultimate spiritual and transcendent destiny of the human person. It presupposes this destiny and is ultimately orientated to this end. If this earth is our only highway to heaven, then we must seek to maintain it – and to make sure to the best of our abilities that this highway is cleared of the obstacles which sin -both personal and structural- has place in the path of those traveling on it.
To go back to the parable of Lazarus: the rich man was condemned not for anything he did (though certainly one can go to hell for doing bad things) but for what he did not do. A faith without works – without concrete engagement with the least of our brethren -- is dead.

The Eucharist reminds us that our commitment as Catholics to work for peace and justice in the world is not born of some ideology or political platform; rather, it is born of a person, Jesus Christ. And therefore, our “solidarity” with the world of pain is a call to a commitment expressed in allegiance not to lofty propositions but to concrete persons in whom we are to see the face of Christ – this solidarity is lived out through the practice of what the Catechism calls the corporal and spiritual works of mercy.

God takes the side of the poor, the oppressed, the marginalized – through the works of mercy, we take their side too.”
--Thomas Wenski
Archbishop of Miami
Homily for the 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time
St John Vianney College Seminary, Miami
26 September 2010

1 comment :

  1. We are seeing more and more homeless all the time!

    Thank you for posting this one Jackie!


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