Stop and speak to the poor

world day of the poor

Archbishop Jason Gordon has called on citizens to stretch a helping hand to at least one person in need, saying the poor are not objects or statistics.

Gordon, the Archbishop of Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, said, “Find someone you know, reach out to one poor person. Not just to give money, but stop, speak, ask questions,” Gordon said.

“One thing the poor do not have an opportunity to do is to tell their story with dignity.”

The World Day of the Poor was instituted in 2016 by Pope Francis, this year it fell on Nov. 15.

The 2020 theme is ‘Stretch forth your hands to the poor.’

Gordon said, “Stretching forth our hands to the poor, is stretching forth the hands of love, the hands of mercy, the hands that will help.”

“Stretching forth the hands will demonstrate our own commitment. We recognise, as Pope Francis says, that we are brothers and sisters. By stretching forth our hands, we join in a common humanity.”

“When we meet and encounter the poor, it asks about our indifference and how we are responding to the poor. So often, we don’t build social relations with those who are poor and marginalised.”

Gordon said poverty does not only relate to the lack of money. It also relates to the lack of participation and lack of dignity. It means some children do not have the same opportunity for education as other children.

Pope Francis celebrated Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica to mark the World Day of the Poor. He urged Christians to spend their lives in prayer, charity, and witness to the Gospel on behalf of those in need.

Pope Francis recalled an Italian priest who was killed two months ago while serving the poor.

Fr. Roberto Malgesini was murdered at his parish of Saint Roch (Rocco) in the Italian city of Como.

“This priest was not interested in theories,” said Pope Francis. “He simply saw Jesus in the poor and found meaning in life in serving them. He dried their tears with his gentleness, in the name of God who consoles.”

The Pope concluded his homily holding up Fr. Roberto as an example of a faithful servant whose life was centred on the poor.



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