The call to be a Christian is a radical one. We are told to love our enemies, forgive those who have wronged us and eliminate sin from our hearts and minds, not just from our actions.
One of the most radical things we are called to do as Christians is to live generously, providing for the sick, the widowed, the orphaned, even at the expense of our own comfort. One of the most powerful stories in the Bible is the story of the widow who comes to the temple and contributes her paltry penny. How does Christ respond to this act?
“Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them; for all of them have contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in all she had to live on.” (Luke 21: 3-4)
Today, we’re sharing a new resource about poverty: what it is, what it looks like in concrete form and how our missionaries are fighting it in places around the world.
What is Poverty?
Poverty is a broad term for a many-headed monster. Poverty can mean absolute poverty, a life without food, shelter or water. Poverty can also mean a lack of access, being cut off from education, employment and opportunities to provide.
While poverty has many faces, the common theme is always scarcity — a lack of life’s basic human goods and needs: food, shelter, clean water, social support, economic resources, education, opportunity to grow and flourish.
Poverty Always Has a Human Face
We often reduce poverty to simplistic economic terms, but poverty is ultimately a human problem with both material and spiritual implications. No attempt to address the impact of poverty can succeed without a holistic sense of what makes a person, a family or a community thrive and what societal measures bring more dignity and more peace to the lives of the impoverished.
In our Catholic missionary service around the world, Divine Word Missionaries are working to provide for people’s basic needs; to treat the impoverished and suffering with love; and to lift them out of poverty through education, support and opportunity.
Learn More About Our Efforts Against Poverty
Divine Word Missionaries have made addressing poverty and inequality a central part of their ministry throughout the world. In this resource, we highlight the ways our missionaries take up this cause.
Our efforts to fight poverty take on many forms around the globe. We tackle issues such as hunger, housing and homelessness. We promote sustainable agriculture and microloans. We offer medical care and disaster relief.
You’ll find out:
- Why poverty is an integral part of our mission work
- How we serve the impoverished around the world
- What you can do to help without leaving your home
- And much more
When people have access to basic needs — food, medical care, shelter — they have the opportunity to thrive and grow into the people they are created to be. Our brothers and sisters in poverty need our support.
As Christians, our call to serve the poor is made crystal clear in the words of Scripture. This resource explores how we are responding to that call.