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Sunday, Oct. 23rd 2016

Sunday Reflection: Love for the Marginalized

Christ’s example challenges us to love those less fortunate

by Ben Rogers, seminarian for the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas

Today, Sirach tells of God’s love for the orphans, weak, oppressed, and widows. This Old Testament teaching is echoed later by Christ in the Beatitudes. In the last several years Pope Francis has been working on elevating our awareness as individuals and as the Church to those who are in need of support and love. The continuity of this teaching throughout the scriptures tells us that concern for these people is part of who God is in his love, and as such are also part of Christian love. In following Christ, we must respond to their needs in openness and love. We also need to make sure that we respond in such a way that we are not tempted to seek praise or glory for ourselves in these good actions. Rather we can be like the man in Luke’s gospel who recognizes his sinfulness.

It is easy to be tempted with pride for the good things we have done, or better yet said: that God has worked through us in our cooperation. Humility does not require us to ignore the good in us, but rather to recognize the source of that good. We must thank God for our abilities to respond to people’s need for love and charity, and we need to see people, not as a burden to ourselves taking resources from us. Instead, we can look toward those who we can serve as great gifts from God which allow us to love and in that love gain a greater knowledge and understanding of God.

 

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