He shall rescue the poor when he cries out,
and the afflicted when he has no one to help him.
He shall have pity for the lowly and the poor;
the lives of the poor he shall save.
Shortly after the Second Vatican Council Pope Paul VI said “If you want peace, work for justice.” That no longer seems to be a popular message within the Church today; especially in the United States. It seems to me that the Church in America has replaced the Gospel with some Christian spin on the American Dream. We have postured ourselves with an “I’ve got mine, you get yours” morality.
We idolize those who have succeeded. Never mind how they did it, they’re now rich, powerful and famous. And what about the poor? Well, often within the Church today we hear, “I picked myself up by my own bootstraps; now you can do it too…oh, and I’ll pray for you that you succeed….like I did.”
Hard work, perseverance, integrity are all characteristics we can admire. No one is suggesting that we become sluggards. But what about the people who can’t “pick themselves up by their own boot staps”? What about the widow and the orphans?
May I be so bold as to suggest that the Gospel demands that we care for the poor? May I be so brazen as to suggest that true joy in life does not come from getting what we want? Rather true joy in life is found in helping those who are less fortunate than ourselves get what they need.
If you have found that true joy is found in helping those in need, please share with us your experience.