GOOD NEWS FOR THE POOR
One of the features most scandalous and unbearable of Jesus’ conduct is his decisive defense of the poor. Over and over again we Christians try to skip over something that’s essential in his way of acting.
We mustn’t be deluded. His message isn’t good news for everyone, indiscriminately. He has been sent to give good news to the poor: the future that God projects and wants belongs to them.
The poor, the marginalized by society, those deprived of every defense, those who don’t find a place in the living together of the strong, those who are stripped by the powerful: all these are lucky. All these are the beneficiaries of God’s reign. All these rejoice when God ‘reigns’ among God’s sons and daughters.
But why are they the privileged ones? Is it that the poor are better than the rest to merit God’s special treatment? Jesus’ position is simple and clear. He never affirms that the poor, just by being poor, are better than the rich. He doesn’t defend a «moral classism». The only reason for their privilege consists in the fact that they are poor and oppressed. And God can’t ‘reign’ in the world without doing justice for them.
God can’t be neutral in the face of a world torn apart by our injustice. The poor are those in need of justice. That’s why the arrival of God is good news for them. God can’t reign without defending the fortune of those who are unjustly abused.
If God’s reign prevails, the poor will be happy. Because where God «reigns» there can no longer reign the powerful over the weak or the strong over the defenseless.
But we shouldn’t forget. That which is good news for the poor resounds like a warning and bad news for the interests of the rich. The rich are unlucky. The future doesn’t belong to them. Their wealth keeps them from opening themselves to God the Father.
José Antonio Pagola
Translator: Fr. Jay VonHandorf