Helping the poor is not a papal fad but a duty, says pope

Light of truth

As the rich get richer, the increasing misery and cries of the poor are ignored every day, Pope Francis said. Christians cannot stand with arms “folded in indifference” or thrown up in the air in helpless resignation, he said in his homily on Nov. 18, the World Day of the Poor.

“As believers, we must stretch out our hands as Jesus does with us,” freely and lovingly offering help to the poor and all those in need, the Pope said at the Mass in St Peter’s Basilica. About 6,000 poor people attended the Mass as special guests; they were joined by volunteers and others who assist disadvantaged communities.

After the Mass and Angelus, the Pope joined some 1,500 poor people in the Vatican’s audience hall for a multi-course lunch. Many parishes, schools and volunteer groups across Rome also offered a number of services and meals for the poor that day.

God always hears the cries of those in need, the Pope said in his homily at the Mass, but what about us? “Do we have eyes to see, ears to hear, hands outstretched to offer help?”

May people hear the cry of the abandoned elderly, those who lack any support, refugees and “entire peoples deprived even of the great natural resources at their disposal,” he said.

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