Saturday, October 17, 2009

Penniless yet Priceless

Poverty has been in the world even before the time of Jesus Christ. There are plenty of stories in the Bible of beggars on the streets, lame and blind people asking for alms, and lepers dying isolated from the rest of society.

More than 2000 years later, many people from all over the world still continue to live in dire conditions. In the Philippines alone, the entire national population consists of what is called CLASS E or majority poor - of which, most even live below the poverty line: "Mahirap pa sa mahirap" (Poorer than poor). I often find myself thinking such conditions, sadly, do not merit the term living but mere existence instead.

There are several causes of poverty: macroeconomic issues, population explosion, agriculture problems, unemployment, poor governance, corruption, armed conflict, disability, limited access, and so on. Although the terms sound depressing, I know that there are many efforts to address such concerns not just on a local level but on a global scale. One such effort is an awareness campaign celebrated today:

The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is celebrated every year on October 17 throughout the world. It was officially recognised by the United Nations in 1992, but the first commemoration of the event took place in Paris, France, in 1987 when 100,000 people gathered on the Human Rights and Liberties Plaza at the Trocadéro to honour victims of poverty, hunger, violence and fear.

Living in a third world country, I could not emphasize more the need for us to share our blessings with the less fortunate... and beyond the need, I give more importance to our want, our desire, to help others.

The poor may be penniless but they are priceless. They are also created in the image and likeness of God just like us. When Jesus died on the cross to save mankind, that means no one is exempted.

While we have the physical and socio-economic concerns of the anawims of society in mind, I more strongly believe that we should also have their spiritual growth on the priority list. For even though we have helped them live this life, there is a much more important eternal life that we have to prepare them for.

I dislike to be the one to burst the bubble but I am aware that total eradication of poverty in this fallen world is an ideal. It is not going to happen. We can strive to alleviate the conditions of brothers and sisters in need but we can never truly make poverty history until the Lord comes back to bring with Him a new world.

Until then, onwards, Christian soldier.


  1. What matters in life is people. One act of kindness won't change the world, but it can change someone's world. Focus on the few you can help, and trust God for the rest.

  2. I definitely agree. I couldn't have said it better. :D


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