Poverty December 4
The call to evangelical poverty invites us to enter into solidarity with the poor and needy, to whom Christ’s concern was particularly directed (Const.12.2).
I profess religious poverty before the Church and the world. Full of youthful fervor, inspired by numberless saints in Church history, wanting to closely follow Christ, I pronounce the words. And, immediately, the way opens before me. But it does not simply lead me to a confidant human security in the midst of a caring religious community. The real road passes by community security, but it does not end there. The vow pushes me out of this nest. It asks of me, in Jesus’ name, to change my place in society to be alongside those who struggle for the necessities of life, who are uneducated, who are always threatened by illness, who do not easily master their feelings, who are socially and morally marginalized, who feel distant from God. Did I expect such travelling companions? Did I envision this to be the following of Christ by the profession of poverty? Fortunately, I started with lots of fervor, inspiration, determination! And if I find myself powerless in the face of the magnitude of the sufferings of these ravaged brothers and sisters, the “something new” that I want for them as I displace myself is that they have, at the very least, the hope of a final liberation in Christ.
Don’t be like corn hairs that live close to one another but don't help braid one another’s hairs. (Madagascar)