Poverty December 28
. . . they should go back to their happier way of life which, because their needs are fewer, is all the more in keeping with God’s servants (Rule of St. Augustine, 18).
To free oneself from material possessions and the desire to have them is a scandal to both rich and poor. Both groups envision the good life as a life of possessions, even luxury. But they see with bad eyes. To get another view, they need to visit the manger: an obscure night adorned with the jewel of a bright star; rough shepherds amused by angels; a homeless couple sheltered by heavenly light; a rustic stable become a tabernacle; an animal’s trough upgraded to a throne; three illustrious visitors on their knees; a defenseless baby as the presence of the Almighty. From the beginning, Christ had a message, he who had no place to lay his head and was executed as a criminal outside the city. The message is this: don’t despise impoverishment—it can be a highway strewn with priceless pearls.
If your older brother goes ahead of you, you already have your hand in the jar. (Bakongo)