Pope calls Church to provide for the needs of the poor

Pope Francis delivers an Angelus address, March 17, 2013. Credit: InterMirifica.net.

At Sunday's Angelus address at the Vatican, Pope Francis called on those receiving his message to care first for the poor, before concerning themselves with their own wants and needs.

“Jesus teaches us to put the needs of the poor ahead of our own,” he said Aug. 3 at St. Peter's Square. “Our needs, even if legitimate, will never be so urgent as those of the poor, who lack the necessities of life.”

He reflected on the day's Gospel, the multiplication of the loaves and fishes; from this pericope he drew three messages: compassion, sharing, and Eucharist.

Beginning with compassion, he said Christ “does not react with irritation to the crowd that followed him, and would not – so to speak - ‘leave him in peace’. Rather, he feels compassion, because he knows that they do not seek him out of curiosity, but out of need.”

He clarified that this compassion of God is not merely a feeling of pity, but is, as the word suggests, a 'suffering with' which “identifies with the suffering of others, to the point of taking it upon himself.”

“Thus is Jesus: he suffers among us, he suffers with us, he suffers for us.”

This compassion of God should lead us to “feel that man, that woman, those babes who lack the necessities of life.”

“Who do not have food to eat, do not have clothing, do not have the possibility of getting medicine … also those children who do not have the possibility of going to school.”

“And for this reason, our needs, even if legitimate, will never be so urgent as those of the poor, who lack the necessities of life.”

Thence, the Pope moved to reflect on sharing.

Contrasting the reactions to the crowd of the disciples and of Christ, he said they are “two different reactions which reflect two opposing logics: the disciples are thinking according to the world, for which everyone has to take care of himself; Jesus thinks according to the logic of God, which is that of sharing.”

“How often do we turn away so that we do not see the brethren in need!”

This, Pope Francis said, “is not of Jesus: this is egoism.”

The multiplication of the loaves and fishes “ is no magic trick, but a ‘sign’ – a sign that invites us to have faith in God, the provident Father, who will not force us to go without ‘our daily bread’, if we know how to share it as brethren.”

Finally, the Pope turned to the Mass, saying the scene “prefigures the Eucharist,” noting their parallels.

“But we must go to the Eucharist with the sentiments of Jesus, that is, with compassion and the will to share.”

“Who approaches the Eucharist without compassion for the needy and without sharing, will not find themselves well with Jesus.”

Compassion, sharing, and the Eucharist, Pope Francis said, are “the way which Jesus indicates in this Gospel. A way which leads us to fraternity with the needs of this world, yet which takes us beyond this world, because it comes from God the Father and returns to him.”

“May the Virgin Mary, Mother of divine Providence, accompany us on this way.”
 


Voices

The promise and potential of Catholic schools

Kevin Baxter

As the remaining days of summer slip by and students return to their schools for another academic year, there is great hope and promise for Catholic schools throughout the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

 

 

Events

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August 29, 2015

  • Saturday, August 29

    Family Foster Care and Foster Adoption Info Meeting, 10 a.m.-12 p.m., Children’s Bureau Family Center, 1910 Magnolia Ave., Los Angeles. Children’s Bureau invites willing adults to become a resource family to children in foster care. Qualifying individuals (single or married) receive training, certification and support. (213) 342-0168. www.all4kids.org.

    A Pattern of Love and Forgiveness, 10 a.m.-4p.m., Mary & Joseph Retreat Center, 5300 Crest Rd., Rancho Palos Verdes. Cheryl Wunsch, Med RNCS, will share her faith journey to forgive the young man who murdered her mother. $50, lunch included. (310) 377-4867. www.maryjoseph.org.

    Grand Marian Procession, 3 p.m., Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, 555 W Temple St., Los Angeles. Banners, flags, color guards and bagpipers will highlight the processional parade which starts at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels with a Votive Mass and will end at Our Lady Queen of Angels Church “La Placita” with the benediction. www.thequeenofangels.comhttps://www.facebook.com/events/451624838374689/.

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