The people are the Church – priest

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MANILA, Dec. 5, 2014 – The Year of the Poor should be a reminder that more than a house of worship, the people among whom God lives make up the true Church, a priest who lives with poor and abandoned elderly said in a reflection on Thursday.

What one does to any of his brothers, he does it to Christ, said Fr. Dari D. Dioquino, Kanlungan ni Maria Home for the Aged (Kanlungan) priest in charge. “What one does not do to any of his brothers, he does not do it to Him.”

A mentally ill mother and her child along Baler St., barangay Paltok, San Francisco del Monte, Quezon City (Photo: Oliver Samson)

Image, likeness of God

“The poor are to be treated with kindness and respect,” he added. “The true faithful do not oppress any of them.”

Men and women were breathed to life in the divine image and likeness of God, Dioquino said, adding that the oppression of the poor “oppresses His will.”

According to the priest, an act of generosity to the poor and the sick is greater than any word of compassion said a hundred times.

Men should not expect Him to do everything for their poor brethren, who in the modern times are still oppressed, he said.

God provided men and women not only with a heart for all forms of poverty, but also with an intellect and strength, Dioquino said.

Inconvenient truth

Christ way is not a convenient one, he said. “[Jesus] lived what He said. The truth maybe is scandalous, but that is the truth. And God is the truth.”

The priest, who sleeps on a Spartan bed in the same space where donated goods are stored in the home for the elderly, also noted how serving the poor is probably more pleasing to God than offering to clothe His religious images in beautiful garments.

“Christ is more honored for the modest cloth when He is cold and naked outside than for a costly silken one, with all those expensive materials, that swathes Him inside the church,” he said.

Neither the golden cups on His table please Him while He is starving and sick in the sun and in the darkness, Dioquino added.

The bodies of men are God’s temples, he said. “He is in any of any one of us.” (Oliver Samson/CBCPNews)

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