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Reflection of the Word of God, Sunday November 7th

but she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had, her whole livelihood."

In theory, we could say, that the poor are to the Church what they were to Jesus... the beloved, and the first to attract our attention and interest. But that's only in theory! Since in reality this does not happen like that. And it is not a question of ideas, nor of agreeing, but of sensitivity to the suffering of the weak, and the poor. In theory, it would have to be said that every Christian has a preference for the poor. The question here is to know what place the poor really occupy in the life of the Church and of us Christians.

In the Church there are many groups, many organizations, congregations, missionaries, lay volunteers, who not only care for the poor, but who, driven by the same spirit of Jesus, dedicate their entire lives and even risk it to defend the dignity and rights of the most helpless. But what is our attitude...?

As long as it is just a matter of providing some help or giving a donation there is no problem. Almsgiving reassures us to continue living in good conscience. The poor begin to disturb us when they make us to question the kind of life we lead.

Hunger and misery are probably not so visible among us. Most obvious is the unjustly marginalized and unworthy life of the poor. In practice, the poor in our society lack the rights that others have; they do not deserve the respect that every person deserves; they represent nothing important to almost anyone. Meeting them worries us. The poor unmask our great discourses on progress and expose the selfishness of our charity. They don't let us live in good conscience. The Gospel passage in which Jesus praises the poor widow leaves us ashamed to those of us who live satisfied in our well-being. We may give some of what we have left over, but this woman who "is in need" knows how to give "everything she has to live". How many times are the poor the ones who best teach us to live in dignity and with a big and generous heart.

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