“The poor you will always have with you!”
Pope Francis selected these powerful words — spoken by Jesus in the Gospel of Mark (14:7) — as the theme for this year’s World Day for the Poor. This year’s event, held on the Thirty-Third Sunday of Ordinary Time (Nov. 14), will be the ﬁfth observation of World Day of the Poor, established by Pope Francis to focus our love on the cries of those in need.
In his message for this year’s event, Pope Francis writes: “The poor, always and everywhere, evangelize us, because they enable us to discover in new ways the true face of the Father […] Jesus not only sides with the poor; he also shares their lot. This is a powerful lesson for his disciples in every age. This is the meaning of his observation that ‘the poor you will always have with you.’ The poor will always be with us, yet that should not make us indifferent, but summon us instead to a mutual sharing of life that does not allow proxies. The poor are not people ‘outside’ our communities, but brothers and sisters whose sufferings we should share, in an effort to alleviate their difﬁculties and marginalization, restore their lost dignity and ensure their necessary social inclusion.”
Summing up his hopes, Pope Francis concluded, “It is my hope that the celebration of the World Day of the Poor will grow in our local Churches and inspire a movement of evangelization that meets the poor personally wherever they may be. We cannot wait for the poor to knock on our door; we need urgently to reach them in their homes, in hospitals and nursing homes, on the streets and in the dark corners where they sometimes hide.”