Pope Francis’ message for the Third World Day of the Poor was released yesterday. The day will be observed on Sunday 17th November. The theme for this year’s World Day of the Poor is: “The hope of the poor shall not perish forever”, taken from the Book of Psalms. The Pope writes that these words “express a profound truth that faith impresses above all on the hearts of the poor, restoring lost hope in the face of injustice, sufferings and the uncertainties of life.”
Pope Francis points out that down through the centuries there have always been rich and poor. Today too, he adds, “we must acknowledge many new forms of bondage that enslave millions of men, women, young people and children.”
In the message the Pontiff says that, on a daily basis there are families forced to leave their homeland to seek a living elsewhere; orphans who have lost their parents or were violently torn from them by brutal means of exploitation; young people seeking professional fulfilment but prevented from employment by shortsighted economic policies; victims of different kinds of violence; millions of immigrants who fall victim to any number of concealed interests. “And all the homeless and ostracized persons who roam the streets of our cities.”
“How many times do we see poor people rummaging through garbage bins to retrieve what others have discarded as superfluous, in the hope of finding something to live on or to wear”, underlines the Pope.
“They themselves become part of a hum
an garbage bin; they are treated as refuse, without the slightest sense of guilt on the part of those who are complicit in this scandal.”
Turning his attention to Scripture, Pope Francis emphasizes how God is constantly acting in the interests of the poor. “We can never elude the urgent appeal that Scripture makes on behalf of the poor”, he says.