The Liberation of the poor: the Vincentian Rule to Make the Gospel of Jesus Christ Effective (6)

Francisco Javier Fernández ChentoVincentian FormationLeave a Comment

CREDITS
Author: Santiago Barquín, CM · Translator: Charles T. Plock, CM. · Year of first publication: 2002 · Source: Hacer efectivo el evangelio y mundo actual, XXVII Semana de Estudios Vicencianos, Editorial CEME, Santa Marta de Tormes, Salamanca, 2002, p. 243-340..
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Conclusion

It is time to conclude. We have spoken about the urgent need to free the poor from slavery and marginalization. We have stated thus such liberation is only possible if we return to the process of evangelization that is presented to us in the synoptic gospels, that is, the proclamation and the building up of the kingdom of God … thus making real God’s plan for humankind but in a special way making that plan real for those marginalized and excluded from the neo-liberal society in which we live. That which was proclaimed and initiated by Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ, namely, the fact that the kingdom of God is among us … this is and will continue to be the proclamation and the task of the sons and daughters of Vincent de Paul at the beginning of this new millennium.

We have reflected on the ministry of Vincent de Paul in this regard. In the past, as well as in the present era, a new evangelization is both necessary and urgent … this new evangelization should reveal God’s compassionate and merciful love to people and should establish “a new heaven and a new earth”, that is, a place where people can live happily and achieve their full human dignity as persons. Vincent de Paul has shown us the way. Deeply concerned about the material and spiritual liberation of the poor Vincent was inventive and creative. We ought to learn from him how to be inventive and creative. There are many poor people in our midst … and it is urgent for us to confront both the old and the new forms of poverty. If we are rooted in God through prayer and reflection on the Scriptures we will be able to return to the poor the dignity that has been taken from them and the bread that they need. In order to carry out this task we need to clothe ourselves in joy and availability … these must be the distinctive characteristics of our service on behalf of our sisters and brothers, a service that is carried out in Christ and with Christ and for Christ.

The first part of our reflection was focused on a theoretical presentation of the process of evangelization that we must undertake. Yet that presentation was not exclusively theoretical … between the lines we hinted at some concrete and specific actions. We then focused our attention on Jesus Christ and Vincent de Paul … that in fact constituted the nucleus of our presentation. There we were able to see how both Jesus and Vincent engaged in an analysis of their reality which then led to a series of actions to confront those aspects of the reality that were opposed to the kingdom of God. Today, that same process of analysis and reflection can help us confront those aspects of our culture that are opposed to the kingdom of God … can enable us to restore dignity and happiness to people … the dignity and happiness that has been denied to them and made impossible by society.

Finally, the last section of our presentation has offered some suggestions and possible solutions in this matter. We stated that the poor and the marginalized expect us to be true and effective witnesses of God’s compassionate love … they want us to be Good Samaritans and not apocalyptic and catastrophic trumpets or judges of condemnation and death. In other words, they want us to be authors of life and happiness, a living presence of God’s tenderness and compassion, advocates of dignity and happiness … they want us to be persons who are sent by God to deliver them from their situation of bondage. This is both God’s time and our time.

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