A Study of the Lukan Beatitudes from the Perspective of Solidarity with the Poor

  • ABSTRACT

    The Christian faith cannot be truly alive if it is devoid of any ethical responsibility for society. Solidarity and the preferential option for the poor are constitutive dimensions of the faith. These convictions are given flesh by some Filipino men and women, as well as groups of church people, who take conscious choices to be with the poor, and who are willing to suffer sacrifice, and even to lay down their lives for the sake of the poor and
    the marginalized in our society. Exposures and immersions among the communities of the poor and the oppressed sectors of our society, in order to be in contact with the life and experiences of the poor, are intrinsic components of any serious faith-and-justice involvement. What is the basis for Christian involvement in the socio-economic-political sphere, and more pointedly, for this “option for the Poor”? Some theologians say that it derives its deepest foundation from the theological, or more specifically, the Christological character of the Christian faith. Consequently, the love of Christ for the poor must be the model of this preferential love.

    The present study follows this line of argument. The “option for the poor” draws its roots from the very option of Jesus of Nazareth, who sought out the poor and the marginalized of his time. To his disciples whom he called to “Follow Me,” he outlined a way of life and living that highlights this preferential option for the poor. The Beatitudes of Luke reveal to us that Christ is primarily for the forsaken and the destitute. This Lukan focus on the poor and the marginalized with a deep compassion for the destitute and the needy is primarily the reason why the Lukan beatitudes are the subject of this study. The beatitudes are to be seen in the context of solidarity with the poor, precisely because God is, by choice a God of the poor, the oppressed and the afflicted. It is here that Luke shows us how Jesus indeed identified himself with the poor. The Lukan beatitudes therefore, are a rallying cry for the Church to live as faithful witnesses of the love of God.

 

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