The call and invitation to live our vow of poverty is reflected in each of the Universal Apostolic Preferences:
• The first Preference calls us to keep searching for the way to God and to show that way to others. As we get closer to Jesus poor and humble, and love and serve Him more, we find the way forward for ourselves and our world others. We discover new light and are called to share that light as gratuitously and as widely as possible.
• The second Preference calls us to be on the side of the marginalised, the excluded and those whom society considers worthless. With, in and through them, we find Jesus poor and humble in a privileged way. It is where Jesus lives and He says to us: “Come and See”. (John 1:39). We see where He is living when we meet the poor and excluded and walk with them.
• Young people, searching for their way forward in life, do so with a vulnerability and an uncertainty that shows the compassionate face of Christ. Often without jobs or security, the young reach out to us for support and understanding. Are we poor enough to hear their cry?
• The call to collaborate in the care of the common home is a call to simplicity. Our world is unsustainable and its economic model has left much to be desired. Religious poverty witnesses to a different and counter cultural way forward for humanity: a way forward that offers a valid and time-tested alternative to consumerism and one that leads, undoubtedly to the fullness of life that Jesus talks about in Jn 10.10.
Our religious poverty calls us to put who we are before what we do or what we own. It calls us to witness to the world that the value of each person lies in his/her being and not in possessions, position or power.