Pope Francis has instituted a World Day of the Poor for next Sunday, November 19th 2017. The quote below mirrors his intention for this day dedicated to the poor.

“We may think of the poor simply as the beneficiaries of our occasional volunteer work or of impromptu acts of generosity that appease our conscience. However good and useful such acts may be for making us sensitive to people’s needs and the injustices that are often their cause, they ought to lead to a true encounter with the poor and a sharing that becomes a way of life.”

Message for the First World Day of the Poor, #3

The key word for entering into this message from the pope is that of sharing. Pope Francis hopes that sharing becomes a way of life for all Christians. The logo for World Day of the Poor emphasizes hospitality since there is an open door with a threshold where two people are extending their hands to one another. One hand is asking for help and the other hand is providing it. Can you tell which of the two is the true poor person? Could it be that both are poor? The person who holds out his hand to enter is asking for the other to share; the person who holds out his hand to help is being invited to go out to share with the other. These two extended hands express solidarity. True solidarity gives us credibility and the power to make changes since its very meaning is unity among individuals with a commoninterest or mutual support within a group. This week at our monthly teen missionary meeting a missionary was sharing her experience while serving those in need that reside at Carolina Hill Shelter in Marshfield. She described her encounter with the children and their parents as “life changing!” When we encounter and share ourselves with the poor as a way of life, we give meaning to the words that Pope Francis wrote in his Message: “Blessed are the open hands that ask nothing in exchange, with no “ifs” or “buts” or “maybes”: they are hands that call down God’s blessing upon their brothers and sisters.”