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Send the poor back empty-handed

Dialogue on the meaning of human dignity - Saronno, Dicember 2016

One day, while he was preparing bags of used clothing to take to a Caritas drop-off bin, Giulio heard a voice, which he recognized as that of Jesus.

Jesus: What are you doing?

Giulio: I am preparing clothing to give to those who need it.

Jesus: Go and take back the shoes you put on those who were barefoot, the clothes you gave to those who were cold and the food you donated to feed the hungry...

Giulio: But didn’t you teach me to feed the hungry, dress the naked and visit those who are in prison...?!

Jesus: I taught something much different from giving your excess stuff to the needy! I taught you to give the holiest and most beautiful thing, that which every human being needs, and that which I desire most that you give them: their dignity! The dignity you took away and you continue to trample with the hypocrisy of these gestures which only show how far what you do is from what I taught you. Instead, send them back naked and barefoot and leave them in their prisons, but don’t take them away from their lands, from their foods and from their traditions, because this means taking dignity away from human beings. Give them back their dignity! Only by giving back to every human being his dignity, do you show that you believe and respect the fact that each man is an image of God!