What does the Gospel have to do with the poor?
What does the Gospel have to do with the poor? St. Luke tells us that Christ said:
of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. Hehas sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at
liberty those who are oppressed” (Luke 4:18).
The Gospel belongs especially to the poor. St. Luke tells us that
he [Christ] lifted uphis eyes on his disciples, and said:
Blessed are you poor, for yours is the kingdom of God
(Luke 6:20). St. James instructs us concerning the poor and of how they have been chosenby God to believe the Gospel:
“Listen, my beloved brethren. Has not God chosen those who
are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which he has promised tothose who love him?
” (James 2:5).
Off the top of my head, I can think of two nations that use poor foreigners to do work within their societies while building a wall/fence to keep poor foreigners out of theirsocieties: The United States and Israel. The U. S. uses poor Mexicans to do work within theirsociety while building a wall/fence to keep poor Mexicans out of their society. Israel uses
poor Palestinians to do work within their society while building a wall/fence to keep poor
Palestinians out of their society.There is obviously something wrong with this situation, especially in theIsrael/Palestine region: the wealthy are using the poor to increase their own wealth, while
at the same time oppressing them. Proverbs 22:16 tells us that: “He who oppresses the
to increase his own wealth, or gives to the rich, will only come to want.” A scripture
passage like that ought to make the U. S. and Israel fear for the welfare of their nations.Could both Israel and the U. S. come to nothing due to their self-centered exploitation of thepoor?Phenomenologically, especially in the Israel/Palestine region, the tragedy of thisexploitive situation is made evident by aerial photographs taken of the border/wall/fenceregion, which clearly show the apartheid-like dissimilarities between two societies; one of
which appears to be quite wealthy while the other appears to be desperately poor. A verygood film, which is based on true story,
,opens with aerial footage showing exactlythis sort of dissimilarity between the rich Afrikaner society and the poor black townships
of South Africa during apartheid. And it’s appalling.
As I said in a previous post, many Christians believe Israel has a right to exist, based on
biblical promises made by God to Israel concerning the Holy Land, and they support theoppression of what is see
n as Israel’s enemies: the
Palestinian people along with theirsupporters. But the modern nation of Israel is not the inheritance of the Promised Land bythe people of the Jewish na
tion; rather, it’s a modern secular state with modern
geostrategic interests. These Christians, here, face quite a dilemma: do they support what isobviously a wealthy oppressive regime that lords itself over its poor neighbor? Or does it do what Christians are required to do: to be concerned for the welfare of the poor and todeny any support to their oppressors?
“Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the thongs of
the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your breadwith the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to