World Day of the Poor November 14

“The poor will always have with you.” Mark 14:7

 The theme for this year’s World Day of the Poor is “for the poor you have always with you” from the words of Jesus at the Anointing in Bethany just before his Passion, an incident described in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and John. Jesus is not saying that we should not work to alleviate poverty. In Mark’s account Jesus says that we can show kindness to the poor whenever we wish. In John’s account, the main objection to the use of costly perfume to anoint Jesus comes from Judas, but John makes clear that Judas had no love for the poor but was a thief. He stole from the common purse. His words said one thing, his actions another. The Christian tradition is realistic about human beings. We are good, but flawed, wounded by sin. We do not believe in utopia in this life. There will always be poverty and injustice of some kind, but we are called to reduce its impact wherever we can. The Pope goes on to say that the encounter with the poor is more than just charity, or acts of benevolence, important as they are. Our encounter with the poor should be a genuine sharing, an establishment of community, a desire to get to know those who may have been invisible to us. Pope Francis, in his other writings, pushes us further. It is not enough to work for the relief of poverty. In Fratelli Tutti, we are called upon to challenge the structural causes of poverty. In our society there is widespread injustice, many people who do not have what is their due, what they need to live a dignified and fulfilled life, and many people who have far more than they need. This is not a natural state of affairs, but the result of policy, which means it can be changed. -Raymond Friel, CEO Caritas Social Action Network

Message of World Day of the Poor by Pope Francis (English and Spanish)

https://www.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/messages/poveri.html

For information and resources

http://www.pcpne.va/content/pcpne/en/attivita/gmdp/2021.html

“Open our eyes to the needs of our brothers and sisters; inspire in us words and actions to comfort those who labor and are burdened. Make us serve them truly, after the example of Christ and at his command. And may your Church stand as a living witness to truth and freedom, to peace and justice, that all people may be raised up to a new hope.” Eucharistic Prayer for Use in Masses for Various Needs, IV: Jesus, Who Went About Doing Good


Novena for World Day of the Poor

Friday, November 5 – Saturday, November 13

The novena is offered as a way to help us to prayerfully encounter in scripture God’s constant care for the poor and desire for more just relations in the community. An act of collective worship for schools in PowerPoint format can be found on the Caritas Social Action Network website at www.csan.org.uk.

To join in the Novena https://www.csan.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/CSAN-World-Day-of-the-Poor-Resource-2021.pdf

“It is my hope that the celebration of the World Day of the Poor, now in its fifth year, will grow in our local Churches and inspire a movement of evangelization that meets the poor personally wherever they may be. Pope Francis, Message for World Day of the Poor, 2021

“Open our eyes to the needs of our brothers and sisters; inspire in us words and actions to comfort those who labor and are burdened. Make us serve them truly, after the example of Christ and at his command. And may your Church stand as a living witness to truth and freedom, to peace and justice, that all people may be raised up to a new hope.” Eucharistic Prayer for Use in Masses for Various Needs, IV: Jesus, Who Went About Doing Good