Do something to care for the poor, in whom we find Jesus

care for the poor

To mark World Day of the Poor on Sunday, Pope Francis challenged Christians to be lighted candles of hope in the midst of darkness.

Walking the talk and supported by generous local businesses, Caritas and the Sant’Egidio community, Francis hosted a lunch for 1,300 poor and homeless.

As well as lunch, other initiatives for the disadvantaged offered throughout the week in St Peter’s Square also included health services.

The mobile clinic facilities in St Peter’s Square provide medical checkups and medicines, including screening and treatments for HIV, hepatitis and tuberculosis.

The services have returned to the square after a two-year halt due to restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

At Mass coinciding with the sixth World Day of the Poor, Francis was at his challenging best.

Francis advised that when humanity is suffering from multiple crises, including war, climate change, the Covid pandemic, and social and economic injustice, it is not the time to listen to the prophets of doom.

As an alternative, Francis urged people to do something to help and to “seize opportunities to bear witness to the Gospel of joy and to build a more fraternal world.

“If our heart is deadened and indifferent, we cannot hear their faint cry of pain, we cannot cry with them and for them, we cannot see how much loneliness and anguish also lie hidden in the forgotten corners of our cities.

“It is important to be able to discern the times in which we live in order to remain disciples of the Gospel even amid the upheavals of history.”

In tough and challenging times, Francis encourages people to do something good and for each person to start with themselves, even when it is not ideal.

“It is a skill typically Christian not to be a victim of everything that happens, but to seize the opportunity that lies hidden in everything that befalls us, the good that can come about even from negative situations.

“Every crisis is a possibility and offers opportunities for growth.

“We realise this if we think back on our own history: In life, often our most important steps forward were taken in the midst of certain crises, in situations of trial, loss of control or insecurity.”

In 2017, Francis decreed that the Catholic Church worldwide would set aside the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time every year to “reflect on how poverty is at the very heart of the Gospel.”

Francis concluded his homily by urging Christians to care for the poor, in whom we find Jesus.


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