Sunday, August 28, 2016

                                                               Befriending the Poor

Imagine that you come to the gates of heaven and St. Peter asks you to name three poor or marginalized people who could be your character witnesses.  Can you name names? 

In Luke’s Gospel, Jesus tells us to invite the poor, the lame and the blind to our banquets or special dinners…He says: “Don’t invite people who can repay you.” (Lk 14:13) I take this to mean that Jesus wants us to become friends with the poor not just give them something…or He wants us to include people in our circles who just don’t seem to fit. 

I admit that I haven’t done that very well.  I’m good at writing a check to Habitat for Humanity or to St. Vincent de Paul. I’m glad to bring food to the Sharing Sunday collection.  I take used clothing and other items to Goodwill.  But do I actually have friends who live on the margins of life? Do I invite them to lunch or just sit down and talk to them for a while?

Make a little list of people you know who seem to live on the edges, people who aren't always included in groups. Make an effort to connect with them. Be open to discovering God in them.  My gut tells me it will be easier to do this, if we think about our own poverty and the ways we don’t always fit in.

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