Yes and no

by | Dec 9, 2013 | Reflections

Vincent EucharistThird Sunday of Advent (A), December 15, 2013 – Is 35, 1-6a. 10; Jas 5, 7-10; Mt 11, 1-11

Let your yes mean yes and your no mean no (Jas 5, 12)

Jesus and his co-workers attend to the needs of people of all kinds.  This proves that Isaiah’s prophecy about the messianic kingdom is being fulfilled.  Do we participate in the mission of the Evangelizer of the poor?

How we treat the most vulnerable is the measure of our Christian collaboration.  If we turn our backs on them, then we are more brute animals than human beings, settling for the law of the jungle.  According to St. Vincent de Paul, not to have pity on the afflicted is to be a caricature of a Christian, to lack humanity, to be worse than beasts (Coste XII, 271).

Those who are truly human find loathsome that the greatest and the strongest isolate and target, as easy prey, the least and the weakest.  No Christian can refuse compassion to present-day Lazarus lying helpless on the ground.

Nor are disciples like a reed swayed by the wind.  Firm, and with the known patience of farmers, faithful followers of Jesus proclaim the Good News to the poor.  They are persistent in season and out of season; they convince, reprimand, encourage with great patience and careful instruction (2 Tim 4, 2).  They bear in mind that Jesus did not choose those who wore fine clothing and lived in palaces for the reestablishment of Israel and the turning back of the temple, converted into center of commerce, into a house of prayer, or for the rebuilding of his Church in ruins.  Hence, authentic disciples want a Church that is poor and for the poor (Evangelii Gaudium 198), at the same time that they denounce the causes of poverty.

Those worthy of the name Christian condemn by deed and word, yes, all selfishness; they say no to an economy of exclusion, to the new idolatry of money which rules rather than serves, to the inequality which spawns violence, questioning even trickle-down theories (54).  They do not fear accusers who may label them communists or socialists.

And the reason for their strength and courage, similar to Nelson Mandela’s, is the same faith in Christ, who became poor, and was always close to the poor and the outcast, which is the basis of our yes to the integral development of society’s most neglected members (186).  As joyful as someone who is witnessing the desert bloom, practicing Christians take it for certain that the inclusion of the poor in society, which is demanded by the Eucharist, will be fully realized when the Lord returns.  Meanwhile, they partner with him in helping the poor in every way, and see to it that others help them likewise (Coste XII, 87).

Ross Reyes Dizon



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