By Dina Pecaña
In his play titled A Woman of No Importance, Oscar.
Wilde wrote, “Who, being loved, is poor?” If only people believed this to be the best way to eradicatepoverty—by loving and being loved—then maybe everyone will be rich and live rich. But the reality is it’s difficult to love even those closest to us. Sometimes, it’s even more difficult to love ourselves. How then can we love the poor around us?
In John 12:8, Jesus said, “You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.”
Maybe Jesus is entrusting the poor in our care. Maybe this is the common mission He calls us to as members of the Church. The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) says, “The Church’s love for the poor . . . is a part of her constant tradition” (CCC 2444). As Catholics, we carry on this tradition of love and pass it on to the next generation.
The Gospels guide and inspire us to do this lifelong task of love. Come to think of it, one of our motivations for work should not only be to provide for ourselves but also to share the blessings of work to others, especially the poor. St. John Chrysostom enlightens us about giving to our poor brethren: “Not to enable the poor to share in our goods is to steal from them and deprive them of life. The goods we possess are not ours, but theirs.” Saint Gregory further affirms this: “When we attend to the needs of those in want, we give them what is theirs, not ours. More than performing works of mercy, we are paying a debt of justice.”
*This article taken from Kerygma Magazine December 2019 issue*
Featured image is from Unsplashed.com.