Saturday, 16 March 2013

Good news to the Poor

In my previous post there is a comment by Anonymous who correctly points out that St. Francis of Assisi is actually apparently the patron of the new Holy Father's name. At the time I wrote it we did not know (but thanks to him for pointing it out). However, it does raise the issue of the poor who Pope Francis is wanting rightly to concentrate on. We know that St Francis was from a wealthy family and renounced inherited wealth. I will remain supportive of the new successor to St. Peter who is the unifying apostle on earth for  Christians, including Anglicans separated through their accident of history from Rome. I do hope also that we can remember that wealth, or the relative holding of it by world standards in the west, does not bar us from being faithful to Christ or lessens us as believers. Pope Francis as a Jesuit will know that in common with Ignatius and Francis Xavier, Francis Assisi had and continues to have a mission to the poor in spirit. For us in the relatively rich western world and Europe in particular we should rejoice that we can share in the mission of the whole church when Christ proclaims "I have come to bring Good news to the poor" for we too are all poor in spirit, sinful and in need of the new life that Christ promises us in the soon to be proclaimed mystery of the resurrection at Easter. For now we can rejoice that there are religious whether Jesuits, Franciscans (Anglican one's too), Dominicans and others who continue to take their vows and minister to all of us poor, both materially and in spirit. We also who are ordained to serve Christ in the various parts of His church can share in that ministry and renew it. As Passion-tide arrives and Lent continues into it's most sacred part we have time left to give sacrificially in alms to the poor, as Pope Francis encourages us but also to concentrate on the great mission to the poor in spirit, the bringing of the good news of the Lord to those who don't know him yet or don't follow him as closely as he wants.

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