Poor for the Kingdom Print
By Jorge Mario Bergoglio (Pope Francis)   
Thursday, 14 March 2013

One of the characteristics often mentioned by the Synodal Fathers, in relationship with the holiness of the bishop, is his poverty. The bishop, a man who is poor in spirit, is the image of the poor Christ, imitating the poor Christ, trying to view things with the vision of Gospel poverty.
 
His simplicity and austerity of life confer total freedom in the Lord. The Holy Father invited us to examine “our attitude towards earthly goods and their use … to verify to what point in the Church the personal and community conversion has achieved effective evangelical poverty . . . to be poor at the service of the Gospel” (John Paul II, Homily for the opening Mass of the 10th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, 30 September 2001, nn. 3-4). With these words, John Paul II challenges us to follow the radicalism of the Gospel which calls blessed those who become poor for the Kingdom, accompanying Jesus in his poverty, living in communion with his brothers according to the apostolic form of life which we read about in the Book of the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 4,32: “The whole group of believers was united, heart and soul; no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, as everything they owned was held in common”).

 

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