The Heart Of Poverty.
There is a mystery in the heart of the poor. Jesus says that everything we do for the hungry, the thirsty, the naked, the sick, the prisoner or the stranger, we do for him. “All that you do for the least of my brothers, you do for me.” The poor, in their insecurity, their anguish and their destitution, identify with Jesus. Hidden in their radical poverty, in their obvious wounds, is the mystery of the presence of God. Of course, people who have no security and are destitute need bread. But as well as the bread, they need a presence, another human heart which says: “Take heart: you are important in my eyes and I love you; you have value; there is hope.” They need a presence which reveals God’s mercy, the mercy of a God who is father, who loves and gives life. There is a covenant between Jesus and the poor. There is a great mystery there.
Jean Vanier, 1979.