Poverty December 21
Prudence is required in the acquisition and use of expensive technical means, as well as respect for and maintenance of goods held in common (Congolese Regional Statutes, 1.17).
Faith in the Risen Christ cannot give permission to flee the world and its reality. There have been periods in the history of the Church when Christians despised material creation. Closer to our own times, we have seen a struggle between the Church and science and a suspicion of human values and aspirations outside the Christian community. The Second Vatican Council and, afterwards, our Constitutions adopted another perspective toward the world, all the while recognizing the sin that is also there. It is true that “there is no eternal city for us in this life but we look for one in the life to come” (Heb 13:14). But Jesus himself did not ask the Father to take Christians out of the world (Jn 17:15). Quite the contrary, he sent them into the world (Mk 16:15). If the Risen Christ took us on high, it was to root us more correctly and profoundly in the things here below. To know the things of heaven should not be the occasion for forgetting the things of the earth. It’s the opposite: heavenly knowledge teaches us a true earthly wisdom. What do we have to be afraid of in the Spirit of Jesus?
Even if the elephant becomes skinny, it won’t dare cross a bridge of vines; otherwise it will fall. (Nande)
O Radiant Dawn, splendor of eternal light, sun of justice; come, shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.