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Beggar of Christ’s Love and Mercy

IMG_1971When I was home, I had a good experience living outside the seminary and witnessed the daily life of the people. I had some good experiences that helped me discern my life for priesthood. Parents strive to go to work everyday, kids are in a hurry every morning preparing themselves for school, everyone is busy in their daily routine shall we say. In the parks, people were trying to relax and enjoying the ambiance, especially on weekends. However, not all of the people I saw and that I met were fortunate enough to make their lives busy with their family and work. Some people I met were hungry with no permanent homes, and despairing.
Every morning, I went to the bakery to buy fresh bread for my light breakfast. Almost everyday three or more kids would gather close to me once they saw me receiving the change while their parents, on the other side of the street were watching them. My heart melted every time I saw them. Sometimes I was forced to ask the teller to give me coins instead of bills for my change so that I would have something to give them if they came over to me. Yet, what amazed me was their smile, their joy, and perseverance to continue to move on.
This kind of scenario is not common to first world countries. We can’t see bunches of kids asking for money. If we do, it is a very isolated case. However, poverty is not limited to the lack of accumulation of wealth and property only. A person might have all the gems and jewels of the world, yet something is lacking. One time I saw a video of Bob Marley interviewed by a reporter asking him, “Are you rich? Do you have a lot of money in the bank?” His response was so simple. “Does money and position make you rich?” he said. “Richness for me is life and friends.”
Looking for an answer to clear my mind, I remembered Pope Francis in one of his homilies saying. “Further illumination comes from recalling that the Greek word used in Matthew’s Gospel (5:3) to describe the “poor in spirit” means being reduced to a beggar. Hence the poor in spirit are those of us — poor, wealthy, middle-class — who recognize our sins and beg Christ to save us.” All of us who are baptized, and became the family of God by the virtue of our baptism, are called to be beggars of Christ love and mercy. Sometimes, it is much better to be beggars of God’s love rather than wealthy in treasures, yet poor spiritually. In this time of Lent may we beg more of Christ for He is the only one that can quench our thirst and fill our hunger, for he is the true drink and food for all of us.

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