'Poverty is a scandal,' Pope says; Christians must use gifts for charity

November 21, 2023 at 9:11 a.m.
Pope Francis poses for a photo with his guests during a lunch in the Vatican audience hall Nov. 19, 2023, the World Day of the Poor. (CNS photo/Vatican Media)
Pope Francis poses for a photo with his guests during a lunch in the Vatican audience hall Nov. 19, 2023, the World Day of the Poor. (CNS photo/Vatican Media) (Vatican Media)


VATICAN CITY CNS – The material, cultural and spiritual poverties that exist in the world are a "scandal" that Christians are called to address by putting their God-given capacity for charity and love into action, Pope Francis said.

PHOTO GALLERY: World Day of the Poor

The poor, whether "the oppressed, fatigued, marginalized, victims of war," migrants, the hungry, those without work or left without hope, "are not one, two, or three, they are a multitude," the Pope said during a Mass celebrated for World Day of the Poor Nov. 19 in St. Peter's Basilica.

"And thinking of this immense multitude of the poor, the message of the Gospel is clear: let us not bury the wealth of the Lord. Let us spread charity, share our bread, multiply love," he said. "Poverty is a scandal."

Among the 5,000 who filled the basilica for Mass were homeless persons and other people in need who were seated in the front rows near Pope Francis. After celebrating Mass and praying the Angelus, the Pope ate lunch in the Vatican audience hall with some 1,250 people, continuing a tradition he began on the first World Day of the Poor in 2017.

Seated at a central table, the Pope prayed that God would bless the food and "this moment of friendship, all together." On the three-course menu were ricotta cheese-filled pasta tubes, meatballs and tiramisu for dessert.

This year's World Day of the Poor, the seventh edition, drew its theme from the Book of Tobit: "Do not turn your face away from anyone who is poor." In the week leading up to the world day, the Vatican extended the hours and operations of a medical clinic it runs near St. Peter's Square dedicated to caring for anyone in need.

    Pope Francis greets a woman and child during a lunch in the Vatican audience hall Nov. 19, 2023, the World Day of the Poor. (CNS photo/Vatican Media)
 Vatican Media 
 
 


In his homily at the Mass, Pope Francis said that Christians "have received from the Lord the gift of his love and we are called to become a gift to others." Archbishop Rino Fisichella, the Vatican organizer of the world day, was the main celebrant at the altar.

Reflecting on the day's Gospel reading from St. Matthew, in which Jesus tells the parable of a man who buries the money given to him by his master rather than seek to multiply it, the Pope lamented the many "buried Christians" who hide their gifts and talents underground.

Mercy, compassion, joy and hope, he said, "are goods that we cannot keep only for ourselves."

"We can multiply all that we have received, making life an offering of love for others," the Pope said, "or we can be blocked by a false image of God and because of fear hide underground the treasure we have received, thinking only of ourselves, without becoming passionate about anything other than our own comforts and interests."

Pope Francis said that just as the master in the Gospel reading returned to his servants to "settle his accounts" with them, people must prepare for Jesus' coming at the end of time in which he "settles the accounts of history and introduces us to the joy of eternal life."

"We must ask ourselves, then: How will the Lord find me when I return?" he said. The Pope referenced the writings of St. Ambrose, who wrote that upon his return Jesus will ask, "Why did you allow so many of the poor to die of hunger when you possessed gold to buy food for them?"

The Pope also urged people to be mindful of poverty's "modesty," noting that "poverty is discreet, it hides. It must be us to go look for it, with courage."

"Let us pray that each of us, according to the gift we have received and the mission entrusted to us, may strive to make charity bear fruit and draw near to a poor person," he said.


Related Stories

VATICAN CITY CNS – The material, cultural and spiritual poverties that exist in the world are a "scandal" that Christians are called to address by putting their God-given capacity for charity and love into action, Pope Francis said.

PHOTO GALLERY: World Day of the Poor

The poor, whether "the oppressed, fatigued, marginalized, victims of war," migrants, the hungry, those without work or left without hope, "are not one, two, or three, they are a multitude," the Pope said during a Mass celebrated for World Day of the Poor Nov. 19 in St. Peter's Basilica.

"And thinking of this immense multitude of the poor, the message of the Gospel is clear: let us not bury the wealth of the Lord. Let us spread charity, share our bread, multiply love," he said. "Poverty is a scandal."

Among the 5,000 who filled the basilica for Mass were homeless persons and other people in need who were seated in the front rows near Pope Francis. After celebrating Mass and praying the Angelus, the Pope ate lunch in the Vatican audience hall with some 1,250 people, continuing a tradition he began on the first World Day of the Poor in 2017.

Seated at a central table, the Pope prayed that God would bless the food and "this moment of friendship, all together." On the three-course menu were ricotta cheese-filled pasta tubes, meatballs and tiramisu for dessert.

This year's World Day of the Poor, the seventh edition, drew its theme from the Book of Tobit: "Do not turn your face away from anyone who is poor." In the week leading up to the world day, the Vatican extended the hours and operations of a medical clinic it runs near St. Peter's Square dedicated to caring for anyone in need.

    Pope Francis greets a woman and child during a lunch in the Vatican audience hall Nov. 19, 2023, the World Day of the Poor. (CNS photo/Vatican Media)
 Vatican Media 
 
 


In his homily at the Mass, Pope Francis said that Christians "have received from the Lord the gift of his love and we are called to become a gift to others." Archbishop Rino Fisichella, the Vatican organizer of the world day, was the main celebrant at the altar.

Reflecting on the day's Gospel reading from St. Matthew, in which Jesus tells the parable of a man who buries the money given to him by his master rather than seek to multiply it, the Pope lamented the many "buried Christians" who hide their gifts and talents underground.

Mercy, compassion, joy and hope, he said, "are goods that we cannot keep only for ourselves."

"We can multiply all that we have received, making life an offering of love for others," the Pope said, "or we can be blocked by a false image of God and because of fear hide underground the treasure we have received, thinking only of ourselves, without becoming passionate about anything other than our own comforts and interests."

Pope Francis said that just as the master in the Gospel reading returned to his servants to "settle his accounts" with them, people must prepare for Jesus' coming at the end of time in which he "settles the accounts of history and introduces us to the joy of eternal life."

"We must ask ourselves, then: How will the Lord find me when I return?" he said. The Pope referenced the writings of St. Ambrose, who wrote that upon his return Jesus will ask, "Why did you allow so many of the poor to die of hunger when you possessed gold to buy food for them?"

The Pope also urged people to be mindful of poverty's "modesty," noting that "poverty is discreet, it hides. It must be us to go look for it, with courage."

"Let us pray that each of us, according to the gift we have received and the mission entrusted to us, may strive to make charity bear fruit and draw near to a poor person," he said.

Have a news tip? Email [email protected] or Call/Text 360-922-3092

e-Edition


e-edition

Sign up


for our email newsletters

Weekly Top Stories

Sign up to get our top stories delivered to your inbox every Sunday

Daily Updates & Breaking News Alerts

Sign up to get our daily updates and breaking news alerts delivered to your inbox daily

Latest Stories


Catholic Home Missions annual appeal April 27-28
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ annual Catholic Home Missions collection ...

Murdered Polish missionary begins 'path to sainthood'
Poland's church is seeking the beatification of a young lay missionary...

'Don't be afraid to take leap' and consider a call to vocation, nuns tell students
A pair of Sister Servants of the Lord ...

The Holy Father Approves the Red Bank Oratory at St. Anthony Parish
The Oratory of St. Philip Neri is a community ...

Last survivor of USS Arizona, dead at 102, is recalled for commitment to country, strong faith
By any measure, Louis Anthony "Lou" Conter, a Catholic hero...


The Evangelist, 40 North Main Ave., Albany, NY, 12203-1422 | PHONE: 518-453-6688| FAX: 518-453-8448
© 2024 Trenton Monitor, All Rights Reserved.