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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

How do you serve the poor in your life? In what ways do you express concern and love for the poor? - Daily Reflections September 9,2015


PREFERENTIAL OPTION FOR THE POOR
 
A frequent theme that has come from the papacy in recent years is the call for the Church to adopt a preferential option for the poor. What does this mean and why are leaders in the Church calling for it?
       In the Gospel today, we read the Lucan version of the Beatitudes. Luke simply says, “Blessed are the poor” and leaves it at that. Matthew tempers the statement by adding “in spirit” at the end. It would seem that the original version of the Beatitudes is closer to Luke than Matthew using the principle that the simplest or shorter version is most likely closer to the original text.
       Luke’s Gospel is often interpreted as the Gospel of the Poor due to its frequent mention of the poor and Jesus’ focus on them in His ministry. The Church, on the other hand, has often been aligned with the government of a particular country, where there are dictators in power. This has led to two faces of the Church: that aligned with the rich and the powerful, and that aligned with the poor. It is not a matter of one or the other — the Gospel is for all people. It is, however, easy to be a Church of the rich but difficult to champion the needs and the dignity of the poor.
       The Church is calling on its clerics and lay leaders to ensure that the poor are not lost to the Church through neglect. We need to focus our attention and efforts towards them as they do not have the means to make this happens, unlike the rich. In a world where the rich accumulate more and more power, the Church must always see to it that the needs of the powerless and the poor are attended to. The Church must never forget its role as a moral compass for society, to the best of its ability, respecting and promoting the dignity of the human person. Fr. Steve Tynan, MGL
 
REFLECTION QUESTIONS: How do you serve the poor in your life? In what ways do you express concern and love for the poor?
 
Jesus, help me to make a place in my heart for the poor and the powerless. Help me to do all that I can to promote their needs and dignity at every opportunity.
 

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