Recognizing the Gifts of the Poor

Recognizing the Gifts of the Poor

November 18

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I am deeply convinced that we can only work for the liberation of the people if we love them deeply. And we can only love them deeply when we recognize their gift to us. I am deeply convinced of the importance of social change and of the necessity to work hard to bring about a just and peaceful society. But I also feel that this task can only be done in a spirit of gratitude and joy. That is why I am more and more convinced of the importance to live in the Spirit of the Risen Christ. Christ is the God who entered into solidarity with our struggles and became truly a God-with-us. It was this solidarity that led him to the cross by which he overcame death and evil. Believing in the Risen Lord means believing that in and through Christ the evil one has been overcome and that death no longer is the final word. Working for social change, to me, means to make visible in time and place that which has already been accomplished in principle by God himself. This makes it possible to struggle for a better world not out of frustration, resentment, anger, or self-righteousness, but out of care, love, forgiveness, and gratitude.

Henri Nouwen

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