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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

To Whom Should We Go?

This is another picture from Chile. My years there have such wonderful memories and just spending a day with a professor from Chile made me realize that I have been so enriched by so many there and all the ways I experienced God during those twenty years. I also found myself thinking in Spanish again! However, I am actually struggling to translate Lucile Mathevon's letters written in the first half of the 19th century in French. I had to borrow a huge dictionary as the small ones do not contain the words I need.

Well, here we are again with the Gospel of Joy: (Again, the bold is mine!)

If the whole Church takes up this missionary impulse, she has to go forth to everyone without exception. But to whom should she go first? When we read the Gospel we find a clear indication: not so much our friends and wealthy neighbors, but above all the poor and the sick, those who are usually despised and overlooked, "those who cannot repay you" (Lk 14:14). There can be no room for doubt or for explanations which weaken so clear a message. Today and always, "the poor are the privileged recipients of the Gospel",52 and the fact that it is freely preached to them is a sign of the kingdom that Jesus came to establish. We have to state, without mincing words, that there is an inseparable bond between our faith and the poor. May we never abandon them.

49. Let us go forth, then, let us go forth to offer everyone the life of Jesus Christ. Here I repeat for the entire Church what I have often said to the priests and laity of Buenos Aires: I prefer a Church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security.

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