Pope Francis, Politics, the Poor
|The unique pectoral cross of Pope Francis depicts Jesus the Good Shepherd with his sheep
It is pretty obvious to everyone by now that Pope Francis has a special love for people who have very little or nothing at all. He seems to be reaching out to these people because it was what Jesus did. He is also living a very humble life; he refuses to take on the gold and brocade, the palace, the high place on the throne that we have been accustomed to seeing with other popes. He often says we should show mercy at the very time that leaders of some of the Vatican offices insist that mercy should not be shown. He is urging bishops and priests as shepherds to spend so much time with their flocks that they begin to “smell like sheep.”
In the USA politicians have cut food stamp benefits to the poor. Governments around the world find it easy to show indifference to undocumented immigrants. Nations refuse to unite to end climate change as we continue to see natural disasters erupt on a regular basis. Home job and home labor opportunities are chiseled away as corporations seek even more profit by out sourcing to countries with little or no labor laws. Globally the gap between those who “have” and those “who have not” is widening.
Jesus says “Blessed are the Poor.” He did not mean that it is blessed (a good thing) to be poor. Rather he meant that the poor have first priority in the kingdom. They are favored by God. The poor will lead us. Jesus asks us therefore to lessen our disdain for those who are poor and to work toward global economic equality. The Good Shepherd will give us courage and show us the way.