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Why is a poor person a treasure?

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Why is a poor person a treasure?

Lo Inédito Multimedia

 Photo: Gustavo Kralj/GaudiumpressImages.com

Photo: Gustavo Kralj/GaudiumpressImages.com

Fr. Rohrbacher relates that the Roman Prefect Dacian believed that the Christians had valuable treasures stowed away, so he summoned St. Lawrence, and asked him to hand them over.

 St Lawrence gives alms to the poor. Foto: Heralds of the Gospel Magazine 

St Lawrence gives alms to the poor. Foto: Heralds of the Gospel Magazine 

The Saint replied that they would be handed over after calculating the sum total of everything they possessed. Then he gathered all of the poor and sick of the city and showed them to the prefect as the greatest treasures of the Church.

But why is a poor person a treasure?

First of all, because he is baptized, a child of the Catholic Church. The worth of a person comes not come from what he has, or what he knows, or what he can do, or what he does. What matters before all else is that he is a creature made in the image and likeness of God; in the second place, he was redeemed by the infinitely precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ; thirdly, the unspeakably precious tears of Our Lady were shed on his account.

These titles make a true treasure out of any human being, however wretched, because all of Christ’s Blood is there. Our Lord Jesus Christ would have taken flesh and died on the Cross, had it been for that person alone.

Now two quantities that are both equal to a third quantity, are equal to each other. If that man is worth the Blood of Christ, and if the Blood of Christ is of infinite worth, then that man has, in some way, infinite worth. Accordingly, because he is a human creature, because he is child of the Church, a poor person has measureless worth.

Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, lecture, 9/8/1969