Year of the Poor in the Philippines

Year of the Poor poster at the chapel in Cartarman, Northern Samar, the PhilippinesThe Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines has declared 2015 the Year of the Poor. It is part of a nine-year preparation for the 500th anniversary of the first Mass and baptism in the Philippines. You can read their opening message for the Year of the Poor here.

"Behold Jesus, poor.  No image of Jesus, poor, surpasses this one.  Jesus hangs from the cross stripped of his clothes, his dignity, his possessions, his power, his strength.  He is fully one with the unwashed, the oppressed, the scorned, the powerless, the miserable, the outcast." Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, Opening of the Year of the Poor, 30 November 2014.They invite us to look at Jesus on the cross. Jesus is fully one with the unwashed, the oppressed, the scorned, the powerless, the miserable, and the outcaste.

Do we identify with the poor and the pushed aside in any way? Are we prepared for the crucifixion that may come with such identification? How might we become more fully one with these of our sisters and brothers that Jesus so loved?

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