By Rev. Kelly Demo, CFCA preacher
Time and again in scripture, and in my life, I find that people define God through the lens of their own life. Scripture says Jesus came to bring good news to the poor. On my trip to El Salvador, I asked several people what this good news is.
Their answers told me much about where they are in their lives and their relationship with God.
Liberation and salvation
I first asked this of a charismatic priest who celebrates Mass in the town of Tacuba. He is loved by the community, and sees himself as a servant of the people. What is the good news Jesus brings to the poor? ìLiberaciÛn y salvaciÛn.î
He said that without God we are all poor, and that we are all equal in the eyes of God. As a priest, it is his job to pastor everyone in the church, both wealthy and poor. So, the good news for him is equality.
A real presence
For Henry Flores, the good news was when Jesus said, ìI will always be with you.î Henry is the director of the CFCA Communication Center in El Salvador and has been a project director in El Salvador for years. He said that prayers are answered every day in very tangible ways, be it money, food, or just a helping hand. ìSomeone needs help and help always comes.î
It was Henryís job for many years to make sure that the children receive what they need. It is natural that the good news for Henry is that real presence, the help of Jesus in their daily lives.
A better life waits
Tim Clancy sponsors 10 children through CFCA. He is a deeply generous and caring man. The good news for the poor in Timís eyes is that, while things here on Earth are bad, a better life awaits them with God in heaven. Tim talked a lot about his frustration at not being able to do more, despite his multiple sponsorships. But the good news for Tim is knowing that God will make it better for the poor in the next life.
Everyone is important to God
I asked Rosa, a 34-year-old mother of three boys, two of whom are sponsored. She is the poor for whom the good news was given. Her answer took my breath away. ìIt is that God will never throw me away like an old piece of bread.î
The good news that Jesus brings to Rosa is that, no matter what the world sees when they look at her, she knows that, in Godís eyes, she is important.
I am deeply grateful for those I have met on my journey who have shared their stories with me. It is in these stories that I find the good news.
What do you think is the good news Jesus brings to the poor?