At Vatican Radio:
Pope Francis said on Tuesday that poverty is the great teaching Jesus gave us and we can find his face among the poor and needy.
Does Our Lord teach ‘poverty?’ I know he teaches about poverty in spirit. I know he exemplified a life of poverty – that great saints show us the ‘discipline’ of poverty, that they take vows of poverty.
Even if the Church did teach ‘poverty’ per say, as if it were a good, what does that have to do with Pope Francis here? He’s telling us, I think, to love and honor poor people, people with little means for survival, people with few things. He’s not telling us to be poor so much, as if it were some doctrine. He wants us to focus effort on ‘the poor.’
I have been fairly poor at times; never without shelter, but broke. I suppose the Pope would have wanted Catholics to focus on me back then?
Stressing that the poor are not a burden but a resource, he said he wished that both the city of Rome and the local Church community could be more attentive, caring and considerate towards those in need and that Christians could kneel before a poor person. The Pope’s words came during a video message which was broadcast at a charity theatre performance organised by Caritas Roma.
St. Mary Magdalene knelt before our Lord. St. Francis knelt before a wayward priest telling him, “These hands bring me Jesus.” Kings have knelt before popes and knights have knelt before kings. A man kneels before a woman to ask for her hand.
Poverty, he said, is the great teaching that Jesus gave us and he assured the performers that they are never a burden for us. Instead they represent a resource without which our attempts to discover the face of Jesus would be in vain.
If the poor are never a burden then what is Pope Francis asking us to do, use them? I think he wants us to share their burdens, yes?
I bristle at calling people resources. Every company has a ‘Human Resources’ department. It’s an ugly arrogant term. But for the Pope poor people are a resource without which we’d never be able to discover the ‘face of Jesus.’
Do you make many attempts to discover the face of Jesus? I don’t. I just hope I can see it in the end. Is the Pope telling me I require ‘the poor’ somehow as a resource to get to Heaven? Is he saying my Faith is no help without them? He seems pretty clear. No wonder he wants me to kneel down and worship homeless people who come into a Church. They are my saviors!
He concluded his address by saying how much he wished that the city of Rome could shine with the light of its compassion and its welcome for those who are suffering, who are fleeing from war and death, and respond with a smile to all those who have lost hope. Pope Francis said he wished for the same on the part of the Church community in Rome so that it may be more attentive, caring and considerate towards the poor and vulnerable and recognize in them the face of our Lord. How I wish, he said, that Christians could kneel in veneration when a poor person enters the church.
Do you, does anyone seriously think that Rome would shine if it was completely filled with Libyan boat people instead of the Catholics who have been there for thousands of years? Wouldn’t it look more like a Libyan barge? Is it the ‘light of compassion’ to wreck the heart of civilization, to kneel down before ‘poverty’ instead of our Lord at Mass?
Can you imagine what type of Mass Pope Francis would foist on us if he could equal Pope Paul’s ambitions? What ‘venerations’ would be required of us then?
I know we’ll never rest in Abraham’s bosom if we are careless to poor Lazarus, but Lazarus is Lazarus and Jesus is Jesus. Please Pope Francis stop mixing them up!