Blog Action Day: Preferential Option of the Poor

Many Filipinos today are tempted to see very little hope for our country. With all the corruption, violence, poverty and natural calamities besetting our people, we cannot blame them if they do not view the Philippines in very optimistic terms. Many innocent children die in starvation. In many places, young girls are constantly in danger of being brutally raped and killed. All these happened because of poverty. Who do you think are responsible? What is the church's response about all these things?

The church's response to poverty is its proclaimed preferential option for the poor. It is a choice to commit oneself to opposing the injustice, exploitation, oppression, and marginalization of the least, last, and lonely members of our communities. It is a christian commitment to help transform our society into one in which human dignity and the rights of all are truly respected. This is an option that can be chosen by both the rich and the poor. The rich are called to enter into the lives of the poor reaching out in fraternal unity with them. This may require the rich to sacrifice some of the privileges and luxuries in favor of the less fortunate. The poor, on the other hand, are called to be in solidarity with other underprivileged people rather than neglect them, or worse take advantage of them, and unite with the rich ad the powerful. (For example, the rich should give just wages to the poor; the poor should give an honest day's work and create local structures which can help raise their quality of life). The option for the poor means to recognize this social reality, and consequently to focus on decisions that will benefit those who are led by the rich leaders.

But love for the poor surely does not mean despising the rich. This commitment is preferential, not exclusive. The church teaches that we must give more attention to the poor, because, unlike the rich who have many advantages in life, the poor are deprived of so many things. Think of the possible benefit we all get if the poor are better educated and well-guided during election times. The educated poor would not be so easily misled and manipulated by unscrupulous politician and we would have the chance of electing leaders in our government who are truly concerned for the good of all.

Poverty is dehumanizing. The preferential option for the poor is a commitment to work against poverty. It upholds the human dignity of all individuals.


Andi said...

I think it needs all of society to support against poverty. So, it's not only the churchs.

aireen said...

Yeah.,you are right..this is just a response of the church to poverty.

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