James Martin (priest)

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James Martin (born December 29, 1960) is an American Jesuit priest.


"How can you be Christian without caring for the poor?" (2017)[edit]

Los Angeles Times January 21, 2017 Full text online
  • God could have entered the world in any place or family that God chose. God could have become human in a great ruling family in Judea. God could have entered into humanity in a wealthy Galilean family, perhaps as the child of a well-traveled and well-read merchant or scholar. More to the point, God could have chosen to be born into the Roman dynasty, in line to become emperor, to exercise and demonstrate maximum power.

    Instead, God chose to enter a family headed by a man with a simple profession, married to a woman who, from outward appearances, was no different than the other poor women in their joke of a town.

  • Is it any surprise, then, that Jesus felt such intense compassion for the poor and marginalized? That he constantly asked his disciples to care for the poor, the sick, the forgotten, the stranger? He was one of these throwaway people, and he lived among them for 30 years before his public ministry began. Christians tend to see Jesus’ commands to care for the poor as divine. And they were — Jesus was fully divine. But they also came from his human experience. He was fully human as well. I’m always amazed by people who feel they can be Christian without caring for the poor. Not only did Jesus command us to do this, Jesus himself was from this class. When God chose to join us, he joined us in Nazareth, to make sure that we wouldn’t forget.

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