“While they were there, the time came for her to have her child, and she gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.”Luke 2: 6-7
One recurring theme throughout our Lord’s birth is that of poverty, and of having compassion for the poor. Many of us are seeing more and more people in our neighborhoods affected by poverty. Also, many people, such as Saint Teresa of Calcutta, have brought much needed attention to the plight of the poor, and modern technology has connected us and made it easier for all of us to see the effects of poverty. Organizations, politicians, and religious leaders attempt to lessen the harm done to individuals affected by the discrepancy of wealth, faulty economies, victims of abuse, addiction, and natural disasters, to the tune of billions, if not trillions of U.S. dollars worldwide. And yet, there is still war and poverty and suffering. Where is God in all this world-wide suffering and poverty?
I think it is a reasonable question to ask each other, however, as Christians we know Christ is poverty. We need to constantly remind ourselves that each and every person on earth is made by God and in His own likeness, out of love. We should strive for modesty in material goods and generosity in tithing. We should support the men and women around the globe on the ground, such as the Missionaries of Charity, taking care of the poorest of the poor. We should ask God for kindness and gentleness in dealing with our family, friends, foes, and forgotten, who struggle with addiction and disease. God asks us to care for people of all circumstances and situations because in those people, we find God.
That’s a lot to take in I think, and probably unreasonable for many of us reading right now. One of the things I know we can do though, is not judge. We don’t know anything about the individuals we pass on the streets, read about in the news, nor should we care about the individual story.
Reflect: Is there something in particular that you are having difficulty practicing detachment?
Reflect: Is there a person in your life right now in need of charity? Is there something you can do to bring God’s mercy to that person?
Act: Today, while praying the Joyful Mysteries, or at least one decade meditating on the birth of our Lord, ask Jesus through Mary to strengthen your compassion for all individuals, and to allow you the opportunity to make a positive contribution towards a struggling individual’s life. Jesus is everywhere and Jesus is LOVE.
God so loved the world that He gave His only Son. God still loves the world and sends you and me to be His love, His compassion to the poor. Mother Teresa Center