The Catechetical Review - Communicating Christ for a New Evangelization

The Anawim and the Kerygma

Authored by Colin and Aimee MacIver in Issue #10.1 of Catechetical Review

Sarah: aged and barren. Joseph: rejected, betrayed, and enslaved. Moses: desperately cast afloat in a basket. Daniel: sent to death by lions. Mary: unknown, unmarried, unbelieved.

Salvation history is the story of the poor ones, the bowed down, the lowly—the anawim, as they are named in Hebrew. In both the Old Testament and the New, God tends to the impoverished, the helpless, and the abandoned with special care and favor. The widows, the orphans, the outcasts—they have nothing, and God chooses them to receive everything.

Poverty is also a central thread of the Incarnation. Jesus came in the poverty of a stable. Poor shepherds received the Good News first, before any wealthy king or powerful governor. When Jesus began his public ministry, he reached out to the disregarded children, the lame, the blind, the social pariahs, and especially the poor souls exiled in sin. Jesus lived humbly and ultimately gave himself to the darkest poverty of death.

But Easter changed everything! The Resurrection exploded the darkness and opened the eternal treasure of heaven. After the Ascension and Pentecost, the spirit-enflamed disciples pursued this treasure even as they, too, were rejected, persecuted, and ultimately martyred.

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This article is from The Catechetical Review (Online Edition ISSN 2379-6324) and may be copied for catechetical purposes only. It may not be reprinted in another published work without the permission of The Catechetical Review by contacting [email protected]

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