Pope Francis on the Preferential Option for the Poor

pope francisIn his charter for evangelization Evangelii Gaudium, Pope Francis reminds us that true love means reaching out to those who have nothing to offer us in return. Consider the power for conversion – for our own, and for those who witness us – when we reach out in acts of truly disinterested love. Consider the counter-witness we give when we do not. How does we present the Church when we only love those who make our life more comfortable?

 

Jesus, the evangelizer par excellence and the Gospel in person, identifies especially with the little ones (cf. Mt 25:40). This reminds us Christians that we are called to care for the vulnerable of the earth. But the current model, with its emphasis on success and self-reliance, does not appear to favour an investment in efforts to help the slow, the weak or the less talented to find opportunities in life.

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Pope Francis embraces Dominic Gondreau, March 31, 2013. Photo Credit: Franco Origlia/Getty Images News/Getty Images.

It is essential to draw near to new forms of poverty and vulnerability, in which we are called to recognize the suffering Christ, even if this appears to bring us no tangible and immediate benefits. I think of the homeless, the addicted, refugees, indigenous peoples, the elderly who are increasingly isolated and abandoned, and many others.

 

-Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium

eric.m.johnston

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