Pope Francis describes how the command: ‘Stretch forth your hand to the poor’ challenges the attitude of those who prefer to keep their hands in their pockets and to remain unmoved by situations of poverty in which they are often complicit… Some hands are outstretched to accumulate money by the sale of weapons that others, including those of children, use to sow death and poverty… Others still, parading a sham of respectability, lay down laws which they themselves do not observe.
Concluding his message, the Pope recalls that in the book of Sirach it is written, ‘In everything you do, remember your end’. He continues by saying, “the ‘end’ of all our actions can only be love. This is the ultimate goal of our journey, and nothing should distract us from it.”
Even a smile is something we can share with the poor and is a “source of love and a way of spreading love. An outstretched hand, then, can always be enriched by the smile of those who quietly and unassumingly offer to help, inspired only by the joy of living as one of Christ’s disciples.”
Our final goal is love
The complete message from Pope Francis for the 4th World Day of the Poor is HERE
33rd Sunday ordinary time - 15 November Psalm 127: 1-5
This psalm recounts the blessings that come from living in obedience to the Lord – a happy life living in peace.
Response: Happy are those who fear the Lord OR Blessed are those who fear the Lord.
Music link HERE
Reflections on Eucharist and this World Day of the Poor
“A Eucharist that does not pass over into concrete practice of love is intrinsically fragmented.” (Pope Benedict XVI, Deus Caritas Est).
Our participation in the Eucharist demands that we address the needs of people in the world who do not have what they need to survive, including those in our own country. (NZCBC, 2012)
Lack of food for the poor is the most un-eucharistic situation on earth. (Cardinal Maradiaga – Caritas Internationalis)
We bring our own hungers – for food, for friendship and fellowship, for love, for justice, for God – to the altar when we receive communion, and we share with the hungers of all those we share the communion meal with, both in our immediate community, and our global human family. As human beings and as a Eucharistic community, we must be involved in ensuring that people have enough to eat. (From Our Daily Bread p27. Social Justice Series 17, Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand.)
Despite the trappings of affluence, no one really experiences prosperity when some of the members of our human family are suffering. For our society to truly prosper, we all need to embrace the understanding that the advancement of the poorest members of our society is the advancement of our whole society. The goods of the earth were created by God for all of us to share. Let us work to make that a reality. (NZCBC 2008)
Prayer of the Faithful starters
Let us pray – Kia inoi tatou
That we all can be involved in finding solutions to poverty in this country by both immediate personal responses of charity and by working towards long term structural responses that will make poverty history.
That each household in our parish community will find appropriate ways to reach out and connect with each other and with people in need.
That just as the parable of the Good Samaritan highlights the responsibility of each of us to be a neighbour to others, let us draw near to those in need and share food and other small acts of kindness.
That as a faith community we will continue to burn the flame for a truly human society which respects the God-given human dignity of all its citizens.
A Church that Goes Forth
In a world that is losing its sight of its true worth, source and identity
May we ever be aware of your constant challenge to make disciples of all nations.
… In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit
We are called to go beyond our own comfort zone and reach all the peripheries in need of the light of the Gospel.
We are called to sow the seeds of the Living Word
A seed which once was sown, grows by itself, even as we sleep
It is unruly, unpredictable and powerful
It is beyond our control and surpasses the calculation of our thinking
And it asks nothing less, than we proclaim it relentlessly without hesitation,
reluctance or fear
And that our passionate madness to share it, will be reflected in our unshakeable joy.
May we always remember that we are a community of missionary disciples
That we are an evangelizing community
That we are beloved
That we are called
That we are sent forth
(Maya Bernado - Adapted from Evangelii Gaudium - Joy of the Gospel #19-24.)