There's a discussion at Fr Ray Blake's blog about the Church and the poor. I thought this little montage might help some people along in the discussion.
Here is one of our 'little treasures' from St Mary Magdalen's parish bringing 'flowers of the rarest' for Our Lady. Well...he said they were the rarest. As if to illustrate Fr Ray's point, I had to cut off the video half-way because he said something pretty offensive.
Lord, bless him. Jesus gives us the poor because in the poor He has the power and capacity to change people's lives and empty their bank accounts at the same time since they have the capacity to do both. No wonder we want to keep His poor at arms length! He teaches us to be kind, like He is kind. They teach us to 'beware of avarice of any kind', that 'where your treasure is there your heart shall be also'. They teach us to love without conditions and show us the transience of material possessions. The poor teach us humility and show us the face of Christ crucified, despised and rejected.
Catholic Saints and Blesseds have always, regardless of time or place, regarded the poor as an opportunity to serve God and a source of countless graces and blessings. The idea that this should be any different in the 21st century is just bonkers. More bonkers than the guy in the video! The image above shows us that if we do not believe this then we are not really traditionalists at all! And anyone who believes the welfare state changed all of this needs a reality check. Lazarus is still at our gate.
The conduct of the lives and the love of God shown in their love for the poor and needy reminds us daily that we are or that we should realise that we are mediocre Christians, always wanting to follow Christ 'up to a certain point' - often well short of half-way! What a kinder, more happy, more merciful, more loving, more holy world, holy Church this would be if we put into practice what Our Blessed Lord actually said.