WelCom December 2020
The needy are at the heart of the Gospel and Catholics should take risks to help the millions of people worldwide who live below the poverty line, says Pope Francis.
Speaking from St Peter’s Basilica on the fourth annual observance of the World Day of the Poor in November, the Pope said: ‘Do not forget: the poor are at the centre of the Gospel; the Gospel cannot be understood without the poor. The poor guarantee us an eternal income and even now they help us become rich in love. For the worst kind of poverty needing to be combatted is our poverty of love.’
Coronavirus restrictions forced the Vatican to scale down this year’s commemoration of the World Day of the Poor. Along with volunteers and benefactors, around 100 people were present in the basilica, symbolically representing the world’s poor. The congregation sat spaced out wearing face masks.
In his homily, the Pope reflected on the parable of the talents, in which a master entrusts talents to his servants. The Pope said that at the centre of the parable was the question of service.
‘In the Gospel,’ he noted, ‘good servants are those who take risks. They are not fearful and overcautious, they do not cling to what they possess, but put it to good use. For if goodness is not invested, it is lost, and the grandeur of our lives is not measured by how much we save but by the fruit we bear.’
He continued: ‘It is sad when Christians play a defensive game, content only to observe rules and obey commandments.’
The Pope said that this risk-averse attitude was summed up in the figure of the lazy servant, who failed to invest his talent.
‘The master actually calls him “wicked”. And yet he did nothing wrong! But he did nothing good either. He preferred to sin by omission rather than to risk making a mistake,’ he said.
The Pope added: ‘The Lord asks us instead to be generous, to conquer fear with the courage of love, to overcome the passivity that becomes complicity. Today, in these times of uncertainty and instability, let us not waste our lives thinking only of ourselves, or deluding ourselves into thinking: “peace and security!” ’
Pope Francis said that at the end of our lives, success, power and money will be revealed as illusions, while love will be shown to be true riches.
‘If we do not want to live life poorly, let us ask for the grace to see Jesus in the poor, to serve Jesus in the poor,’ he said.
Sources: CNA, Vatican News