Just as Jesus Christ was born poor so has he continued to live in poverty all his life – and not just poor but destitute, a “beggar”, according to the expression of Saint Paul (cf. 2Cor 8,9)... Jesus lived in poverty at Nazareth: “poor in dwelling, his furnishings few, such was the lodging of the world's Creator”. There he lived frugally, earning his bread by the sweat of his brow and at the cost of great weariness, just like a workman and the sons of workmen. For the rest, did not the Jews believe him to be, and call him “a carpenter, a carpenter's son”? (Mk 6,3; Mt 13,55). Afterwards he appeared publicly to preach the Gospel. During these last three years of his life, far from improving his means of support, he practiced an even more severe form of poverty, living only on donations. To one man, who wanted to follow him in the hope of living more comfortably, he replied: “Understand it well: foxes have holes and the birds of the air have their nests, but the Son of man has nowhere to lay his head”. Man, he was trying to say, if you count on finding a leisurely way of life by following after me, you are mistaken, for I have come on earth to teach poverty. With this intention I have become poorer than the foxes and the birds which, at the very least, have some shelter. But I haven't the least plot of ground belonging to me as my own where I might take my rest and it is my wish that my disciples should be like me...“A servant of Jesus Christ possesses nothing beyond Jesus Christ”, states Saint Jerome. He doesn't even desire to possess anything beyond Jesus. In a word, Jesus always lived
as a poor man, he also died poor. Wasn't it necessary for Joseph of
Arimathea to give him a tomb and for others to make him the gift of a linen shroud to wrap his body?
- Saint Alphonsus Maria de Liguori (1696-1787), Bishop and Doctor of the Church
8th Address for the Octave of Christmas