The modern world embraces multi-cultures yet the varied creeds and outlooks clamor for decent and dignified living for the deprived or poorer sectors. Amidst the situations of poverty, the call remains to work hard, earn one’s living, live simply and not be dominated by possessions. Too much wealth used for one’s exclusive comfort may alienate a person from being “Good News” to the poor. To follow Jesus of Nazareth is to be a counter witness to the spirit of the world that puts greed over sharing.
Living a life of sharing what we have and accompanying people in their crises is witnessing God’s love to others. This is enhanced by an attitude of dependence on the providence of God than on worldly security. We gratefully accept God’s gifts and are responsible for what God has entrusted to us. We also learn the difference between need and greed. God invites us to heed the cry of the poor and to accompany them in a mutual journey to retrieve equal human rights.
Whatever it is that we have, we can always share, be it a smile, an encouraging word, a material good. It has been said that the more we share the more we grow. A rich person may have abundant food and clothing but lacks knowledge, so we share our knowledge. A poor person may have experienced love and understanding but not have good food, so we share food with that person. Too much excess, it is believed, leaves a person unhealthy. And we need to see our giving not so much as charity but as something we owe.
In response to Pope Francis’ Jubilee call for Mercy and Compassion, have we shown our true witnessing by attentively reaching out to our less fortunate neighbors? We too can “wake up the world!” by being counter witnesses to the ungodly way of doing things, and instead go the alternative way of heroes and saints, the way of Jesus’ selfless loving and total self-giving. “Give and it will be given to you, and you will receive in your sack good measure, pressed down, full and running over. For the measure you give will be the measure you receive back” (Luke 6:38).