“But first He must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.”—Luke 17:25
Wealth is a power with which to do good or to do evil. If it is rightly used it becomes a source of continual gratitude, because the gifts of God are appreciated and the Giver acknowledged by using them as God intended they should be used. Those who rob God by withholding from His cause and from the suffering poor will meet His retributive justice. Our heavenly Father, who has given us in trust every good gift, pities our ignorance, our frailty, and our hopeless condition. In order to save us from death, He freely gave His beloved Son. He claims from us all that we claim as our own. A neglect of His suffering poor is a neglect of Christ, for He tells us that the poor are His representatives on earth….
When the Lord’s poor are neglected and forgotten or greeted with cold looks and cruel words, let the guilty one bear in mind that he is neglecting Christ in the person of His saints. Our Saviour identifies His interest with that of suffering humanity. As the heart of the parent yearns with pitying tenderness over the suffering one of her little flock, so the heart of our Redeemer sympathizes with the poorest and lowliest of His earthly children. He has placed them among us to awaken in our hearts that love which He feels toward the suffering and oppressed, and He will let His judgments fall upon anyone who wrongs, slights, or abuses them.
Let us consider that Jesus took all the woes and griefs, the poverty and suffering, of men and women into His own heart and made them a part of His own experience. Although He was the Prince of life, He did not take His position with the great and honorable, but with the lowly, the oppressed, and the suffering. He was the despised Nazarene. He had not where to lay His head. He became poor for our sakes, that we through His poverty might be made rich. He is now the King of glory, and should He come crowned with majesty, millions would do Him homage. All would vie with one another in bestowing honors upon Him; all would plead to be found in His presence. An opportunity is now granted us to receive Christ in the person of His saints.—Testimonies for the Church 4:620, 621.
Further Reflection: What can I do today to relieve the suffering of the poor in my community? How can I motivate others to join me in this act of service?