Saturday, July 25, 2009

Blessed Are the Poor

From Fr. Cioppa's In His Own Words.

I am sure we have all asked this question. "Am I loveable?" In our contacts with people, we put our best foot forward. We let people see our good side: the handsome, concerned, loving, caring "me". But there is another side which I try to hide, which only I see: the proud, selfish, petty, domineering "me". Sometimes I wonder why did God do this? why didn't He make me with only a good side? Why didn't He do a better job and make me perfect? Why did He make life so difficult? I have to struggle to be good. He could have made it easy and just made a perfect world with all perfect people. Why didn't He?

If God knew that there were going to be so many wars, natural disaster, sin, pain and suffering why didn't He just make a nice comfortable world where we could all be happy for ever afterㅡlike the fairy books say? The question keeps coming back especially when we see a child suffer, the poor dying of hunger, prostitutes walking the streets, global warming, people killing one another in wars and overflowing prisons. Why? Why? Why?

One time I asked a group of social workers, "If you were creating the world and you knew then what you know now, would you have created the world? Would you have made men and women just as they are now?" They discussed the question for a while, and then answered, "Yes". I was surprised and asked why. They said that in the people they served: the street sleepers, the poor, the sick, the dying, the prostitutes, the mentally impaired, the prisoners, the disobedient students, the elderly, they found joy, peace, dignity and a depth of life which they did not find in others. They found them loveable. If these social workers found that these destitute derelicts, dregs of society were loveableㅡ then it has to be even more true of God.

God looks at all the evil in the world, all the unthinkable crimes men commit and all the destruction they bring about and He still finds us lovable. Unbelievable! Astonishing! Impossible! Yes, but true! Isn't that a wonderful thoughtㅡthat God's love for us is unconditional?

I think God's reaction is much like the social workers. He, like them, looks at the bottom of the social scale and is moved by them. His heart goes out to them and finds them loveable. God looks at them, the world, you and me, and sees the bad side of us, but He also sees the good side and finds us loveable. Hard to believe, isn't it?

One last point. When I look at myself, doI see myself as weak, getting older, a sinner, afraid, lonely depressed, not so smart and feel I just can' get ahead? If the answer is yes, then God probably loves you even more than if you were brilliant, healthy, young and successful. So rejoice! You just joined the poor of the world and God finds you loveable!

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