Radicalizing our closeness
with the poor
concern for the poor received an unequivocal focus since GC 32, giving us the
integral emphasis of faith that does justice. That inspired our formation
sector to revamp itself by incorporating inculturation, context sensitivity,
and immersion in the lives of the poor by focusing on “Formation in Mission.”
But over the years it has been diluted in practice, and the formation in
mission has become just programmatic and not much transformative. As a result,
many of our formees are not radically touched by the lives of the poor, and
they tend to get into comfort zones easily.
scenario the second preference, “to walk with the poor,” is indeed a wake-up
call to our South Asia Assistancy to reaffirm and revamp the formation in
mission. Coming closer to the poor means going out to the peripheries of
society, as Pope Francis constantly challenges us.
Our association with the poor must allow us to be touched and
transformed. The poor are not mere objects of our mission but subjects of God’s
revelation. As Pope Francis has written that “we are called to find Christ in
the poor, to lend our voice to their causes, but also to be their friends, to
listen to them and to embrace the mysterious wisdom which God wishes to share
with us through them” (see Evangelii Gaudium, 198). In this new light,
the Assistancy will revisit and radicalize our closeness with our poor in the
different stages of formation. One who has not cultivated in formation the love
for the poor cannot be a Jesuit and much less a servant of Christ’s mission.