“On the Kindness and the Blessedness of the Poor”
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven,” (Matthew 5:3).
A photo of a few children I visited yesterday:
Of the many documents that developed out of the Second Vatican Council, my favorite is Gaudium et Spes, a pastoral constitution on the Church in the modern world. Reflecting on recent events in my life in Honduras, a sentence from Gaudium came to mind earlier today: “Many nations, poorer in economic goods, are quite rich in wisdom and can offer noteworthy advantages to others.” As a young man from the U.S., I recognize that my country is rich in economic goods, but it suffers in the area of wisdom. Honduras, on the other hand, is poor in economic goods and rich in wisdom.
In a way it is a blessing to be poor economically because the rich often forget about the most important things in life: faith and love. Generally speaking, the poor place their trust in God while the rich place their trust in material advantages. Though poverty surrounds me here in Honduras, I’ve yet to hear anyone complain about a lack of wealth.
Just yesterday I spoke with a family of eight living in a small hut up in the mountains. They have no electricity and no clean water. Just a few months ago their house burnt down, so they had to built another. They have weekly encounters with poisonous snakes, and they are frequently robbed of what little they have. For food, they cook rice and beans over a fire and collect fruit from the ground in the jungle. Despite all of these misfortunes and disadvantages, they ceaselessly praise God for their health. They rarely pray for themselves because they are so busy praying for others. Their attitude towards life is incredibly positive, yet they earn meager wages and have next to nothing.
Though financially impoverished in the worst of ways, they gave me gifts in offers that I couldn’t refuse. I left their house with photos, toys, and food for the road. They took pleasure in making me feel hospitable because they considered my presence a gift from God. I can’t adequately explain how awesome that family was to me. They are the beacon of hope in today’s world. I’d trade their faith and their generosity for anything.
I ask that you pray for the safety of that family. May God change our hearts so that we become more like the them. May our faithful Lord give the gift of his kingdom to the most deprived amongst us.
Contact me by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any questions about how you can support my service in Honduras.