From a Creighton Student's Perspective
May 23, 2012
Senior, Exercise Science Major
This verse from John shows one of the important missions that Christ gives to his followers after he leaves earth to join God in heaven. Christ wants us all to be unified. At first this does not seem to be too challenging: we are not supposed to create conflict with our neighbors and we are supposed to love our enemies. The challenging aspect of this verse is that we are supposed to unite with all people. After checking the Bible I recognized that there is no footnote that says that we should be unified only within our socio-economic class or within our nation. Christ calls all people to be unified in him. The challenging group to unify with is the unknown, faceless individual from a different part of the world. How are we supposed to unify with the impoverished of Latin America, Africa, and Asia when we already struggle to unify with the impoverished of our own country and city?
Post-Vatican II theologians have called Christians to have a ‘preferential option for the poor.’ This is the idea that during Christ’s life he directed additional attention to help the poor and outcast of society. The idea of a preferential option for the poor is similar; we are supposed to give great attention to the poor and suffering in society. I do not believe that Christ expects us all to move to third world countries to give aid to the poor. Rather I believe that Christ calls us to recognize the different styles of poverty- economic, spiritual, social, and physical- and strive to aid and hopefully eliminate these types of poverty. As Christians we are called to unify with those in our culture who are impoverished in the above manners.
Several of my peers are impoverished in the aforementioned categories and it is my calling to help them in their areas of poverty. There are also ways to help those in third world countries that are struggling primarily economically. By being intentional with our purchasing power, paying slightly more for an item that gives greater benefits to its employees (i.e. sweat-free items) we are able to give those individuals and families an opportunity to make a great life for themselves and remove themselves from the cycle of poverty. Hopefully, by giving opportunity to individuals in all types of poverty we are able to unify with Christians around the world and create the type of world that Christ is seeking.
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