During his Sunday’s homily at the St. Peter’s Basilica, Pope Francis did not mince his words when he criticized Christians who use the phrases “That doesn’t regard me; it’s not my business; it’s society’s problem” in the midst of the suffering of other people. The Supreme Pontiff called this “indifference” a “great sin.”
The Pope is certainly turning the heads of those Christians living a double-standard lives who, when face-to-face with a poor fellow, turn a blind eye to their suffering and needs. Pope Francis said doing no wrong is not enough.
Speaking in front of more or less 7,000 poor people at the Basilica, Pope Francis called on the faithful, especially those capable of giving something to others, to act and help those who are in need.
In the official English transcript released by the en.radiovaticana.va, Pope Francis urged his followers to not seek more than what they need, but rather what is good for others.
“It is when we turn away from a brother or sister in need, when we change channels as soon as a disturbing question comes up, when we grow indignant at evil but do nothing about it. God will not ask us if we felt righteous indignation, but whether we did some good.”
According to the Supreme Pontiff, God is pleased when people show love to the hungry and the sick, the stranger and the prisoner, the poor and the abandoned, the suffering who receive no help, the needy who are cast aside. The Pope added that in the faces of these people “we can imagine seeing Jesus’ own face.”
“In the poor, Jesus knocks on the doors of our heart, thirsting for our love. When we overcome our indifference and, in the name of Jesus, we give of ourselves for the least of his brethren, we are his good and faithful friends, with whom he loves to dwell. God greatly appreciates the attitude described in today’s first reading that of the ‘good wife,’ who ‘opens her hand to the poor, and reaches out her hands to the needy’ (Prov 31:10.20). Here we see true goodness and strength: not in closed fists and crossed arms, but in ready hands outstretched to the poor, to the wounded flesh of the Lord.”
Dubbed as the first World Day of the Poor, Pope Francis’ Mass was attended by poor families from nearby countries like Germany, Poland, Spain, Italy and France. Also in attendance were several migrants and refugees from across the globe.
On the same day, the religious leader took to his Twitter page and reminded his followers to be in solidarity with those who need it.
On this day, I invite the entire Church to keep its gaze fixed on those who hold out their hands asking for our solidarity.— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) November 19, 2017
Two days prior to this homily, Pope Francis also posted on twitter and said that all people need to encounter the poor and learn how to share so that it becomes a way of life.
We need to encounter the poor and learn how to share so that it becomes a way of life.— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) November 17, 2017
He also reminded the faithful that poverty is not an accident; that it has causes which need to be recognized and removed for the betterment of those suffering from it.
Poverty is not an accident. It has causes that must be recognized and removed for the good of so many of our brothers and sisters.— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) November 16, 2017
These reminders by Pope Francis are not new developments within his administration as he has been staunch on his stances regarding the poor and the marginalized. He has been criticizing governments worldwide which do not do anything to alleviate the conditions of the poor.
[Featured Image by Michael Campanella/Stringer/Getty Images]