Pope urges Catholics to meet the poor and speak to them with love
‘The hope of the poor shall not perish for ever’
In his message for the third World Day of the Poor, celebrated on 17 November 2019, Pope Francis reminds us that “the poor are not numbers, but people”, to be assisted, accompanied, protected, defended and saved. He recalled that this is not possible without the humility of listening, the charism of the whole, the courage of renunciation.
He reminded us that to “follow the way of charity, of humility and of listening means lending an ear to the little ones”, because God reveals himself through them. And he asked us not to look down on anyone from above. “You can only look down at a person from above,” he insisted, “in order to help them get up”.
During his audience with delegates of the Caritas Internationalis General Assembly on 27 May 2019, the Pope called for serious action in this regard. He urged us to live our mission with a style of poverty, gratuitousness and humility. He insisted that we cannot live charity without having interpersonal relationships with the poor: living with and for the poor. He denounced any hypocritical and deceptive charity that merely gives alms, and acts as if to salve our worried conscience. For the Pope, charity is not to be equated with philanthropic effectiveness, planning efficiency or even an overstated and agitated organisation. He invited us to cultivate a personalunter with Christ, in order to meet him in the poor (see Matt. 25)