Blessed are the Poor

9 Sep 2018 by SHRCChurch, Comments Off on Blessed are the Poor

One of the often used Hebrew words found in the Old Testament is anawim, which is usually translated into English as “the poor”. That does not do justice to the meaning of anawim, which implies much more than economic poverty.

Sometimes it is translated as “the lowly” which again fails to impress us moderns who no longer honor class distinctions. Throughout salvation history, God has consistently shown a predilection for the anawim, i.e. those
disadvantaged, whether, physically, spiritually, economically or socially. When the followers of John the Baptist asked Jesus if He was the hoped-for messiah, Jesus answered in the words heard today from the prophet Isaiah. Note well, it describes physical curing as well as spiritual (i.e. the whole person).

When Jesus preached the beatitudes, the first words out of His mouth were “Blessed are the poor in spirit..” Not surprisingly, our current Pope Francis has made predilection for the anawim the hallmark of his papacy. Why this predilection? Because those who don’t have, depend on others. They recognize and acknowledge they are not in charge, not in control (contrary to modern advertising which fallaciously emphasizes always being in control). They live consciously depending on

God. We are called to do the same.

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