4th World Day of the Poor:

Pope asks for our hands to reach the needy

This Sunday, 15th November is the 4th Word Day of the Poor. Pope Francis’ message to us implores us to “Stretch forth your hand to the poor.”

This is not an easy task. It takes us out of our comfort zone, to places we’d perhaps rather not be. It forces us to acknowledge our failures in human society; that we have allowed our brothers and sisters to live with so little comfort. It presents us with hard truths, bad language, unkempt demeanors and almost always, despair and rejection.

Yet St Vincent taught us to look at the other side of this “scarred coin”. Turn it over and see the where the light still lives. See the face of Christ in each and every poor person we meet. If we truly do this, we will see beyond the dirt and dowdiness and rush to stretch out our hands towards them in order to lift them up and out of their poverty. We recognise the light of Christ in their eyes and meet them there, where they are. Not always where they or we want to be, but we share with them a moment of hope in the knowledge that someone cares.

Pope Francis in his message says “In order to perform an act of worship acceptable to the Lord, we have to recognize that each person, even the poorest and most contemptible, is made in the image of God. From this awareness comes the gift of God’s blessing, drawn by the generosity we show to the poor.”

In these days of the pandemic, we have been struck by how many caring hands have reached out to the poor, the sick and the lonely. Our Vincentian call is front and centre on the world stage right now. We pray that we have the courage to keep reaching to the furthest margins of our communities to give our hands willingly to the poor.

To read the full text of the Pope’s message, click here http://www.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/messages/poveri/documents/papa-francesco_20200613_messaggio-iv-giornatamondiale-poveri-2020.html

St Vincent de Paul, Pray for us

Blessed Frederic Ozanam, Pray for us