17 November 2019_WORLD DAY OF THE POOR
The World Day of the Poor will be held on the 33rd Sunday of Ordinary Time, this year on 17 November 2019.
“The involvement of Christians in this World Day of the Poor and especially in the events of everyday life, goes beyond initiatives of assistance. Praiseworthy and necessary as the latter may be, they should have the goal of encouraging in everyone a greater concern for individuals in any kind of distress…”
17 November 2019
The hope of the poor shall not perish for ever
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…
2. Today too, we must acknowledge many new forms of bondage that enslave millions of men, women, young people and children.
Daily we encounter families forced to leave their homeland to seek a living elsewhere; orphans who have lost their parents or were violently torn from them by brutal means of exploitation; young people seeking professional fulfillment but prevented from employment by shortsighted economic policies; victims of different kinds of violence, ranging from prostitution to the narcotics trade, and profoundly demeaned. How can we overlook, too, the millions of immigrants who fall victim to any number of concealed interests, often exploited for political advantage, and are refused solidarity and equality? And all the homeless and ostracized persons who roam the streets of our cities?
How many times do we see poor people rummaging through garbage bins to retrieve what others have discarded as superfluous, in the hope of finding something to live on or to wear! They themselves become part of a human garbage bin; they are treated as refuse, without the slightest sense of guilt on the part of those who are complicit in this scandal. Frequently judged parasites on society, the poor are not even forgiven their poverty. Judgment is always around the corner. They are not allowed to be timid or discouraged; they are seen as a threat or simply useless, simply because they are poor…
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.