On last Thursday’s Mass at the Casa Santa Marta, the Pope speaks of the three forms of poverty to which the disciple is called: the first is to renounce riches, with a heart detached from money, the second is to accept persecution, large or small, even slander, because of the Gospel, and the third is the poverty of loneliness, to feel alone at the end of life. His reflection begins with the Collect Prayer, which emphasizes that through Saint Luke, the Lord wanted to reveal his predilection for the poor. The Gospel (Lk 10:1-9) then speaks of the sending of the 72 disciples into poverty – “do not carry a purse, bag or sandals” – because the Lord wants the disciple’s path to be a poor one. The disciple attached to money or wealth is not a true disciple.
There is a form of poverty that Jesus promised to Peter himself, telling him: “When you were a boy, you went where you wanted; when you are old, they will take you where you do not want to go. ” The disciple is, therefore, poor, in the sense that he is not attached to riches and this is the first step. He is then poor because “he is patient before small or large persecutions”, and – third step – he is poor because he enters into that state of mind of feeling abandoned at the end of life. In fact, Jesus’ own path ends with that prayer to the Father: “Father, Father, why have you forsaken me?”. The Pope’s concluding invitation is, therefore, to pray for all the disciples, “priests, nuns, bishops, popes, laity”, so that they “may know how to walk the path of poverty as is required by the Lord “.