The Catholic Peace Weekly in the Peace column gives the readers a heartwarming article proper for the Christmas season. A 30-year-old unemployed father was caught stealing food with his young son at a large market.
The owner of the market, recalling the Jean Valjeans of the world, keeping tears from his eyes, had no problem with the hungry father. A policeman on duty took the father and son to a restaurant for a meal; a man seeing what was going on, withdrew 200 dollars from the ATM and went to the restaurant to give it to the father. Other citizens in their own way joined the parade to the father and son.
The good deeds of the participants were a sign of their compassion. Compassion can be translated as sympathy or pity. Compassion is far from cheap sympathy. It is also the opposite of indifference. It is the desire that springs up in our hearts to give help.
The goods of the world keep growing day by day, and the poor continue to increase, what is going wrong? Their sighs of despair are not diminishing. Wealth and poverty are very difficult problems. The Fourth Industrial Revolution does not have any quick answers.
This is not the kind of problem that is easy to deal with. Reckless efforts to bring about equality of possessions will give rise to dilemmas difficult to imagine. The last century witnessed the error in the cheers and failures of the communist-socialist revolution. That one-dimensional method is not the answer. A society that is equally owned and lived without the rich and poor appears in Thomas More's Utopia.
But in our society, if you try to compete freely and live to the fullest, you'll face even greater contradictions. Modern capitalist societies are in terrible conflict because of the irrationality of the neoliberal economic system, where lions and rabbits compete for survival in the same pasture. Look back at history. The principles and traditions of the revolution that rocked the world were not great. One can no longer witness the poor eaten up by the lions and expect the rabbits to do nothing. We have the start of a revolution; what was regarded as insignificant was the start. Socio-economic contradictions arise from human desires and result in conflicts that rupture at reaching the critical point.
Pope Francis also cautioned against the danger by citing Father Primo Mazzolari a few months ago in a talk on the Third World Day of the Poor. The marginalization painfully experienced by millions of persons cannot go on for long. Their cry is growing louder and embraces the entire earth. In the words of Father Primo Mazzolari: "the poor are a constant protest against our injustices; the poor are a powder keg. If it is set on fire, the world will explode."
The solution is in the gospel where the rich and the poor live together. To do this, the rich man must not turn away Lazarus (Lk 16:19-31), who waits at the door to fill his hungry stomach, even if it's the food that falls from the table. The face of the Lord is found in the hungry, thirsty, and naked. Only then can the solution be seen. We need to act like the market owner and police. Compassion for the poor and giving them what you have so you can live well together. The wise see this as mutual help the 'poverty of conviviality'.
The writer dreams about the 2020 year as one of sharing and doing good; a love' that will bring peace and joy of life. There is no shortage of food, clothing, and places to sleep. Our efforts to satisfy our greed is the problem. As he hung the new calendar on the wall he kept on repeating the words: "Give them food" (Mk 6:37).