Looking to late in the last century, the Aparecida bishops cite their 1992 conference, plus the pope at that time.
393. If this option is implicit in Christological faith, we Christians as disciples and missionaries are called to contemplate, in the suffering faces of our brothers and sisters, the face of Christ who calls us to serve Him in them: “The suffering faces of the poor are suffering faces of Christ.”(Santo Domingo Document, 1992, 178) They question the core of the Church’s action, its ministry, and our Christian attitudes. Everything having to do with Christ has to do with the poor, and everything connected to the poor cries out to Jesus Christ: “whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me” (Mt 25:40). John Paul II emphasized that this biblical text “sheds a ray of light on the mystery of Christ.”(Novo Millennio Ineunte 49) For in Christ the great became small, the strong became weak, the rich became poor.
Matthew 25:31-46 no doubt places the possibility of finding Christ in the poor. It would seem most wise to seek him there. Perhaps it is difficult to understand. Saint John Paul suggests the experience will lead us to an enlightened experience of the Lord.
For deeper examination, an English translation of the 2007 document from the Aparecida Conference.