The theme of this year’s World Day of the Poor is “The poor you will always have with you,” the words of Jesus recorded in Mark 14:7 after a woman anointed him with precious ointment.
“Unless our hope translates into decisions and concrete gestures of concern, justice, solidarity and care for our common home, the sufferings of the poor will not be relieved, the economy of waste that forces them to live on the margins will not be converted, their expectations will not blossom anew,” Pope Francis said at the World Day of the Poor Mass.
“We Christians, in particular, have to 'organize hope' ... to make it concrete in our everyday lives, in our relationships, in our social and political commitments.”
Pope Francis began the celebration of this year’s World Day of Poor with a pilgrimage to Assisi on Nov. 12 in which he spent time with a group of 500 poor people from across Europe and listened to six moving testimonies.
“How lovely, evangelical and youthful is a Church ready to go out from herself and, like Jesus, proclaim good news to the poor. ... A prophetic Church, which by her presence, says to the broken-hearted and the outcast of the world, ‘Take heart, the Lord is near. For you too, summer is being born in the depths of winter. Even from your pain, hope can arise again,'" Pope Francis said.
“Brothers and sisters, let us bring this outlook of hope to our world. Let us bring it with tenderness to the poor, with closeness, with compassion, without judging them -- for we will be judged -- Because there, with them, with the poor is Jesus; because there, in them, is Jesus, who awaits us.”