18 Nov WORLD DAY OF THE POOR
The World Day of the Poor will be held on the 33rd Sunday of Ordinary Time, this year on 18 November 2018. In his message for the second World Day of the Poor, Pope Francis has called for a new evangelisation that prompts Catholics “to make tangible the Church’s response to the cry of the poor”. The Australian Catholics Bishops Conference (ACBC) responded through The Australian Bishops Commission for Pastoral Life chairman Bishop Terence Brady encouraging all Catholic communities to be involved and respond to the theme of day: “This poor man cried and the Lord heard him” (Psalm 34:7). For the Pope’s Message, World Day of the Poor, please click here. For Prayers of the Faithful, World Day of the Poor click here; For Mother Teresa Prayer – Who is Jesus to Me, click here. Further info: firstname.lastname@example.org.
POPE FRANCIS: LET US THINK OF THE WIDOW
Before reciting the Angelus Pope Francis addressed the faithful gathered in St Peter’s Square on Sunday. Basing himself on the Gospel of the day, the Pope asks us to emulate the “poor and generous widow as the model of Christian life.”
Pope Francis began by distinguishing the two groups presented in today’s Gospel. The first group includes “the important, the rich, and the influential”; the second, “the least, the poor, and the weak”. The former look down on the latter, he said.
Jesus “denounces the oppression of the weak categorically based on religious motives”. He offered his disciples a living example—the poor widow—in order to impress this lesson on them. Her gesture of offering all she had is filled with “religious and spiritual significance”, he said.
What Jesus taught his disciples can help us “recuperate what is essential in our life and to foster a concrete and daily relationship with God”, the Pope continued. It reminds us that the Lord measures quality, not quantity and that He “scrutinizes the heart and sees the purity of intentions”.
The poor widow teaches us to rid our acts of charity of all ritualistic and formalistic attitudes, the Pope explained. “We do not know [the widow’s] name, but we know her heart; that is what counts before God.” We can think of her, he said, when we are tempted to do things for appearance sake, or when we want to attract attention to our good works.
He concluded asking “Mary, the poor woman, who gave herself completely to God” to help us as we resolve to not simple give “something” but “ourselves” to the Lord— making of ourselves “a humble, generous offering”.
(Angelus:11 November, 2018, St Peter’s Square, Vatican City).
18 November 2018
This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him
1. “This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him” (Ps 34:6). The words of the Psalmist become our own whenever we are called to encounter the different conditions of suffering and marginalization experienced by so many of our brothers and sisters whom we are accustomed to label generically as “the poor”. The Psalmist is not alien to suffering; quite the contrary. He has a direct experience of poverty and yet transforms it into a song of praise and thanksgiving to the Lord. Psalm 34 allows us today, surrounded as we are by many different forms of poverty, to know those who are truly poor. It enables us to open our eyes to them, to hear their cry and to recognize their needs.
On this World Day we are called to examine our conscience to see if we can truly hear and respond to the cry of the poor in our world.
In our communities, we are invited to offer friendship, solidarity and welcome to the poorest of our sisters and brothers. Pope Francis asks us to pray, and to share a meal after Mass if we can, in a spirit of joy and togetherness.
What you can do
- Watch and share Vladimir from Bolivia’s prayer video above with your friends and family.
- Use our prayers on poverty and resources to prepare for the World Day of the Poor in your parish or community. You could use a grace for those who hunger, if you are sharing a meal.