By Oswald Sobrino, J.D.; M.A. (Econ.); M.A. (Theo.); M.L. (Master of Latin), doctoral student, University of Florida.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

"Among the Poor"

pOOr.... buT hAppY...
pOOr.... buT hAppY... (Photo credit: poonomo)
Catholic commentator Michael Sean Winters has written an excellent and short article for the Wall Street Journal on what he desires in a new pope. Here is the link: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324582804578344292898872644.html

You should read it. It is a profile not just for the next pope but for any pope. As I have read and reread the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke), in the course of teaching a graduate course, I have to say that I have come to this conclusion: Jesus=Being Among the Poor.

The other commentators invited by the Wall St. Journal to give their views on the next pope lack a grasp of the heart of the matter: they seem to want a competitor in the culture wars, to hit back, to fight back, to win over others like an American-style politician. Wow, is that off course!

The papacy is not a career move--although we seem to have made it that in our expectations. It is not a military assignment in the culture wars. It is not an exercise in efficient corporate management or reorganization or in repackaging and marketing. The papacy is living the message of Jesus among the poor, the poor in both the material and spiritual senses of the term. The ordained priesthood--in fact, also the non-ordained priesthood of all the baptized--is about being among the poor.

It seems that our default mode--especially as Americans and Westerners--is that life is about competition and winning and all the strategies and tactics that we read about in tiresome business and self-help books. That angle is the opposite of the Gospels.
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