“The path of Jesus began on the peripheries, it goes from the poor and with the poor, towards others.”

Pope Francis recently spoke these powerful words at St. Joseph the Worker, a Jesuit Parish in a poor neighborhood called Kangemi in Nairobi, Kenya. On this Christmas day, I invite us to pray over these simple, yet profound words of the Holy Father as we contemplate the amazing gift of God becoming human, choosing to be poor and vulnerable so as to share the wisdom of the poor with all of us.

Have I had a personal experience of recognizing the wisdom of the poor? Do I savor that experience, as St. Ignatius invites us to do? As I make resolutions for the new year, might one of them include finding some concrete ways in which I could have more direct contact with the materially poor so that I might be more open to what our God who comes from the poor has to say to me?

—Fr. Brian Paulson, S.J. serves as provincial superior for the Jesuits of the Chicago-Detroit Province of the Society of Jesus.