We are called to honor the poor and to give them precedence, out of the conviction that they are the true presence of Jesus in our midst. “As you did it to the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.” (Matthew 25:40).
(Message of Pope Francis for the Second World Day of the Poor)
Jesus tells us exactly who the “least” are……the hungry, the thirsty, the naked, the sick, the prisoner and all the marginalized in society. He cared about their needs because during his 3 year ministry he was poor, homeless, hungry and thirsty.
Jesus said “the poor you will always have with you.” His words ring down through the ages with the Catholic Church leading the way in charitable outreach to “the least of these.” The goal is to provide a “safety net” that will help meet the basic needs of the poor both physically and spiritually.
Recently, here at SMC, a Redemptorist Priest gave a first hand, touching account about the suffering and even death, real poverty brings in third world countries. He brought with him a brochure featuring a charity called “Food for the Poor”. He urged people to give what they could to those who have no “safety net.”
Many responded generously, moved by his appeal for mercy. This is a wonderful example demonstrating that we fight poverty person to person. Working in a soup kitchen or giving to a food pantry or writing that check all require that we take personal responsibility to help the poor.
When we stand before the Lord there is no doubt he will ask us “What did you do for the least of these? What did you do for me?”
What will your answer be?