FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
OUR THEME FOR 2016
MERCY AND THE MISSION OF JESUS
January 7, 2016
Today’s gospel: Luke 4:14-22a
Jesus’ mission was “to bring glad tidings to the poor.” (v.18c). He was to overturn the sorry situation of people in the world, “to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free” (v.18d). This today is the work of the Church, to have a preferential option for the poor and to build the Church of the Poor.
There are very many who are materially poor in the world today. This is due to social injustice, where there is no equitable distribution of the world’s goods. And the dominant economic systems of the world exacerbate this situation. Economies are dominated by the rich and powerful, and the majority of people, who are poor, are at their mercy.
Here let us see the contrast in the “mercy” of the world and the mercy of God. For the world, the rich and powerful perpetuates the bad that God did not intend for the poor, whom He intends to have an equitable share of the world’s goods. Thus the poor are at the mercy of the rich but are not accorded true mercy. On the contrary. For God, He does not give us the bad that we deserve for our transgressions, which is condemnation and punishment.
Another way to look at this is to look at grace, which with mercy are two sides of the same coin. The rich do not give the poor what they deserve (an equitable share). For God, He gives to us (who are all spiritually poor) what we do not deserve, and that is forgiveness and salvation. What a totally radical contrast!
In this Year of Mercy, we look to our own work with the poor, through NONe. One of our seven Core Values is Living a Preferential Option for the Poor. We are to participate in building the Church of the Poor. This is to be part and parcel of our work of massive evangelization.
May our Lord Jesus, through us this year, be able “to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.” (v.19).
* * *
Note: Many of us will not necessarily be at the front lines of our work with the poor. However, all of us can participate in this work, not only through prayers, but with our financial support. We are still fundraising for rehab efforts in areas affected by the recent typhoons including NONA. I am still asking you to support G300 and G10K.
* * *