The religion of Jesus is not mere creeds and doctrines, it is a life. The salvation of Jesus is not only of the individual, it is also for home, life, society, and mankind.
- Toyohiko Kagawa»(via joda86)
The Treasure of the Poor
The poor have a treasure to offer precisely because they cannot return our favours. By not paying us for what we have done for them, they call us to inner freedom, selflessness, generosity, and true care. Jesus says: “When you have a party, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind; then you will be blessed, for they have no means to repay you and so you will be repaid when the upright rise again” (Luke 14:13-14).
The repayment Jesus speaks about is spiritual. It is the joy, peace, and love of God that we so much desire. This is what the poor give us, not only in the afterlife but already here and now.
- Henri Nouwen
“There is a really deep well inside me. And in it dwells God. Sometimes I am there too. But more often stones and grit block the well, and God is buried beneath. Then God must be dug out again.”
- Etty Hillesum, from The Letters and Diaries of Etty Hillesum 1941-1943
“Communities as well as individuals suffer. All over the world there are large groups of people who are persecuted, mistreated, abused, and made victims of horrendous crimes. There are suffering families, suffering circles of friends, suffering religious communities, suffering ethnic groups, and suffering nations. In these suffering bodies of people we must be able to recognise the suffering Christ. They too are chosen, blessed, broken and given to the world.
As we call one another to respond to the cries of these people and work together for justice and peace, we are caring for Christ, who suffered and died for the salvation of our world.”
- Henri Nouwen
“Since the earth was given to all mankind [sic], access to and use of its resources were meant to be shared and available to all. The creation narratives cannot be used to justify privatized, individual ownership, since it is to mankind [sic] as a whole that the earth is entrusted. This is not to say that there can be no legitimate private ownership of material goods, we have already seen how in Israel legitimate property rights were grounded on the belief of God’s gift of the land and its distribution to the household units. It is to say that such individual property rights, even when legitimate, always remain subordinate to the prior right of all men [sic] to have access to and use of the resources of the earth. In other words, the claim ‘I (or we) own it’ is never a final answer in the moral argument. For ultimately, God owns it and I (or we) only hold it in trust, and he may well hold me (or us) responsible to himself for others who might have greater need of it. Ownership does not entail absolute right of disposal, but rather responsibility for administration and distribution. The right of all to use is prior to the right of any to own.”
- Christopher J.H. Wright, An Eye for an Eye: The Place of Old Testament Ethics Today