If we pause to think, we have to recognize that our role as Vincentians is more than distributing food baskets and visiting people on a weekly basis. We cannot close our eyes to the countless social problems that surround us and that affect the whole world, especially those men and women who are poor and who are our lords and masters.
What can we do in light of these conflicts? The answer: to be those VOICES that speak out against poverty. Often, families do not know how to proceed in so many different situations: times of illness, when needing some form of assistance, bureaucratic business which includes obtaining work.
We, as young Vincentians, who have access to a university education, can utilize our knowledge and help others who are in need. How many of us are studying law or nursing or some other specific field? Yes, we are many! But are we placing our knowledge at the service of those who are poor or do we view this knowledge as something that is “ours”?
We must take steps forward because our role as intermediaries between the interests of the poor and the interests of public officials is essential.
The poor view us as a great light and hope … hope for a better life. But for this to happen we need to dedicate ourselves to understanding their situation. So often the poor feel as though they are defenseless and are not aware of their rights.
We have been blessed with the opportunity to know Christ and to be able to care for “the little ones” who are the Lord’s beloved. We can do much more. We can proclaim the Good News and engage in the struggle against inequality and oppression and thus defend the rights of those who are marginalized and poor.
Young men and women: today we are challenged to become ever more aware of the social rights of those who are poor and to defend these people … will we take up this challenge?
Pope Francis has stated: You are not the future, but you are the now of God.
Commission of Young Men and Women of the Metropolitan Council of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul en Brazilia (Brazil)
Translated: Charles T. Plock, CM
Eastern Province, USA