How is it that God in heaven can hear the cries of the poor, but people standing nearby either cannot or do not care, Pope Francis asked. Source: CNS.
People must make "a serious examination of conscience to understand whether we are really capable of listening to the poor," the Pope said in a message for this year’s World Day of the Poor.
The recently established commemoration and the period of reflection and action preceding it are meant to give Christians a chance to follow Christ's example and concretely share a moment of love, hope and respect together with those in need in one's community, the Pope said in the message released yesterday.
The World Day of the Poor -- to be marked each year on the 33rd Sunday of ordinary time -- will be celebrated on November 18 this year and will focus on a verse from Psalm 34, "This poor one cried out and the Lord heard".
"We can ask ourselves, how is it this cry, which reaches all the way to God, is unable to penetrate our ears and leaves us indifferent and impassive?" Pope Francis asked in his message.
"If we speak too much ourselves, we will be unable to hear them," he said.
That is often what happens when otherwise important and needed initiatives are carried out more as a way to please oneself "than to really acknowledge the cry of the poor”, he said.
"God's answer to the poor is always an intervention of salvation in order to heal the wounds of body and soul, restore justice and assist in beginning anew to live life with dignity. God's answer is also an appeal in order that those who believe in him can do the same.”
Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization, told reporters the pope hopes the day will remind everyone in the church to turn their gaze to the poor, truly listen to their needs and respond directly with love in a way that aims to restore their dignity.
Local churches, associations and institutions are again asked to come up with creative initiatives that foster moments of real encounter, friendship, solidarity and concrete assistance.
Listen to those in need, pope says in World Day of Poor message (Catholic News Service)