Notable quotations from Pope Francis and official teachings of the Roman Catholic Church
At the conclusion of the Jubilee of Mercy, I wanted to offer the Church a World Day of the Poor, so that throughout the world Christian communities can become an even greater sign of Christ's charity for the least and those most in need.
To the World Days instituted by my Predecessors .... I wish to add this one, which adds to them an exquisitely evangelistic fullness, that is, Jesus' preferential love for the poor.
I invite the whole Church, and men and women of good will everywhere, to turn their gaze on this day to all those who stretch out their hands and plead for our help and solidarity. They are our brothers and sisters, created and loved by the one Heavenly Father.
This Day is meant ... to encourage believers to react against a culture of discard and waste, and to embrace the culture of encounter... Everyone ... is invited to openness and sharing with the poor through concrete signs of solidarity and fraternity.
It is my wish that, in the week preceding the World Day of the Poor, which falls this year on November 19 ..., Christian communities will make every effort to create moments of encounter and friendship, solidarity and concrete assistance. They can invite the poor and volunteers to take part together in the Eucharist on this Sunday, in such a way that there will be an even more authentic celebration of the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Universal King, on the following Sunday.
This Sunday, if there are poor people where we live who seek protection and assistance, let us draw close to them. It will be a favorable moment to encounter the God we seek.
... Let us welcome them as honored guests at our table; they can be teachers who help us to live the faith more consistently. With their trust and readiness to receive help, they show us in a quiet and joyful way, how essential it is to live simply and to abandon ourselves to God's providence.
Let us not forget that the Our Father is the prayer of the poor. Our asking for bread expresses our entrustment to God for our basic needs in life. Everything that Jesus taught us in this prayer expresses and brings together the cry of all who suffer from life's uncertainties and the lack of what they need.
This ... Day ... should become a powerful appeal to our consciences as believers, allowing us to grow in the conviction that sharing with the poor enables us to understand the deepest truth of the Gospel. The poor are not a problem: they are a resource from which to draw as we strive to accept and practice in our lives the essence of the Gospel.
(Source: Message for World Day of the Poor, issued June 13, 2017)
Published by: Presentation Ministries, 3230 McHenry Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45211, (513) 662-5378, www.presentationministries.com