Sunday 18th November is the second World Day of the Poor. Pope Francis calls on all Christians to combat indifference to the suffering and marginalisation of the most needy. Indifference to others results in our diminished joy, participation and responsibility. We’re better together when we care for the dignity of each other. Pope Francis writes in his World Day of the Poor message: “For the poor to overcome their oppressive situation, they need to sense the presence of brothers and sisters who are concerned for them and, by opening the doors of their hearts and lives, make them feel like friends and family. Only in this way can the poor discover ‘the saving power at work in their lives’ and ‘put them at the centre of the Church’s pilgrim way’ (Evangelii Gaudium, 198) . . . I would like this year’s, and all future World Days, to be celebrated in a spirit of joy at the rediscovery of our capacity for togetherness”. Highlighting awareness of the plight of the poor on this Sunday medical assistance will be offered in a tent hospital in St. Peter’s Square. Meanwhile the Pope will host lunch for 3000 people who are in need witnessing his message that we the Church are to be a field hospital for all offering welcome, healing and accompaniment.
At home we can take action through prayer / sponsoring a lunch at a soup kitchen / initiating conversations with family and friends, and at parish level addressing poverty in our communities…
You asked for my hands that you might use them for your purposes.
I gave them for a moment then withdrew them for the work was hard.
You asked for my mouth to speak out against injustice.
I gave you a whisper that I might not be accused.
You asked for my eyes to see the pain of poverty.
I closed them for I did not want to see.
You asked for my life that you might work through me.
I gave you a small part that I might not get “too involved”.
Lord, forgive me for calculated efforts to serve you only when it is convenient for me to do so,
and only in those places where it is safe to do so,
and only with those who make it easy to do so.
Father, forgive me renew me send me out as a usable instrument,
that I may take seriously the meaning of your cross. Joe Seramane, South Africa, from Lifelines.