Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Who are the poor?

In January, I was in Mexico at CCIDD (Cuernavaca Center of Interfaith on Dialogue Development). I was blessed to be there with students from Dominican University (DU) and Edgewood College.  Through my participation in the program, I learned about Mexico’s economics, Immigration, the human right to access water/food and peace/justice issues.  I also had a personal encounter with the poor, a person with a face and name I will remember, my friend/brother in Christ, Isidro.  He is an Indigenous artisan who lives in the Mountains of Guerrero, who makes baskets to provide for his family. On my return trip to the US, I kept reflecting on Jesus’ message to give to the poor.  My heart ached as I pondered the question “how can I remember and give to my brother Isidro (the poor) daily?”  Isidro’s beautiful basket is a daily reminder in my room that Jesus calls each of us to give to the poor and do more when possible. One example that comes to mind is the DU students.  They made the presence of the poor known on their campus by hosting an event to share their experiences of the poor and the injustices they endure.  Presently, my ministry involves being present to the homeless (other faces/names I know).   Not only can I give my time daily but, I can be a voice and speak out against injustices.  Another significant way to give to Isidro is to live simply, so that he may simply live.  I can be conscientious in my daily use of natural resources, my participation of consumerism and individualism.  And last, but not least, I pray for Isidro and his family.  There is no “either/or” way to give to the poor.  It is simply caring and giving to our sisters/brothers who are in need.   Who is the face of the poor for you?  How do you give to the poor or make their presence known?

Sr Priscilla Torres, OP
San Antonio, Texas

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