When Paul laid out his ministry for the scrutiny of the leaders of the Jerusalem church, the only stipulation they made was that he "should be mindful of the poor" (Gal 2:10). This was the one thing that Paul "was making every effort to do" (Gal 2:10). We also should be making every effort to be mindful of the poor when we buy anything, talk, pray, work, plan church activities, parent our children, watch TV, drive our cars, have parties, go to school, etc.
In our financially segregated culture, it is easy to forget about the poor who live in areas we do not have to travel through. Not many people who can afford comfortable housing live in areas where beggars like Lazarus are readily visible (see Lk 16:20ff). God our Father invites us to "bring in the poor" to His heavenly feast (Lk 14:21). However, many are tempted to be more mindful of their possessions and comfort than of sharing God's kingdom with the poor (Lk 14:18-21). To not be mindful of the poor is to forget about Jesus Himself (Mt 25:37-40).
Pope John Paul II has called every person and group in the Catholic Church "to carry out a sincere review of their lives regarding their solidarity with the poor" (Mission of the Redeemer, 60). "We need to turn to a more austere way of life" (Mission of the Redeemer, 59). "The Church all over the world wishes to be the Church of the poor...she wishes to draw out all the truth contained in the Beatitudes of Christ, and especially in the first one: 'Blessed are the poor in spirit' " (Mission of the Redeemer, 60).