The salvation of the world was first made known to the poor. This is a point Dr. Scott Hahn makes in his Christmas book Joy to the World, a book I was reading during the Advent season. It was an idea that I hadn’t considered until this year, but it couldn’t be truer.
The salvation of the world was first made known to the poor. While Mary was giving birth to the Christ, the angel Gabriel appeared to a field of shepherds. The life of a shepherd was by no means extravagant. In fact, shepherds were among the poorest and most marginalized in first century Palestine. Because it was commonly believed that only the rich could afford to live by the strict rules of early Judaism, the shepherds were written off as having no hope.
Thirty years before Christ would begin his public ministry, the Lord was already making it known to the forgotten that there was a reason to hope.
I have worked closely with the poor for the last six months now. Perhaps the most beautiful experience I’ve had is that of looking for Jesus where people would least expect. Two thousand years ago, Jesus was born in the most unlikely of places, dwelling with the most unlikely of people. Jesus never left the poor in his ministry. Even today, we are invited to serve the poor and are charged with the duty of pointing them to Jesus, the Light of the World.
More than anything, I have seen Jesus in the most unlikely places for the last six months. I am incredibly grateful for this and humbled by it. Thank you for being a part of this ministry and for partnering with us. As a mission partner, you not only help the poor, but our hope is that you also get to see Jesus in the poor.
As we find ourselves in the season of “ordinary time” in the Church, my hope is that we will continue to see Jesus in the unexpected and extraordinary.