“Father, forgive me the bread I’ve stolen from my brother.”
- St. Vincent de Paul
Throughout the history of the church, Christians have recognized that we cannot pray "Our Father" together on Sunday and deny bread to our brothers and sisters on Monday. But we live in difficult days. The hungry are not just hungry. Often they are also our enemies. Drug addiction and mental illness make many who are hungry hard to deal with. They threaten us. Other have been hungry for so long that they are angry, even at those of us who want to help. We worry about how to protect ourselves from them while at the same time feeling guilty for our complicity in their poverty. So we give to charities. And charities become the brokers for our compassion toward the poor.
The Problem with this is that we never get to know the poor. Though we have been made children of God together with them in Jesus Christ, we never sit down to eat with our hungry brothers and sisters. We never learn to see the world through their eyes. Many Christians are concerned about the breakdown of nuclear families (and rightly so), but we often just accept he breakdown of God's family. We live like teenagers in a high school cafeteria -- some of us eating at one table (our table), while other eat at another table (quite often, the soup kitchen's table). What we miss is the gift of God's new economy. And with it, our brothers and sisters on "the other side."
Source: Becoming the Answers to Our Prayers
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