by Fr Joachim Robert
Theme: Stay Awake – Be Ready
World Day of the Poor
Dear friends, as we draw close towards the end of our liturgical year, the readings reminds us of how we should live our life, here and now, because our life here on earth is yet but a preparation towards our eternal life in heaven. And we will go through challenges, difficulties, trials and tribulations. But the readings today, even though it may seem gloomy, but it provides us the opportunity to have our faith and hope in God, to live our present life here on earth with fullness, with hope and in love.
With the celebration of World Day of the Poor today, we too are reminded that the poor among us are people who are together with us, journeying together with us, in this journey of life here on earth. And we cannot treat them just as people who are not as privileged as we are but we need to accompany them and walk together with them in this walk of life. And very often, dear friends, whenever we look at the poor, we are reminded of the privilege that we have in God, blessing us with the gift of faith, blessing us with possessions and in so many different ways.
So the celebration of World Day of the Poor tells us that the poor are not just numbers, they are human beings, they are brothers and sisters. And we have to be reminded that they are not objects to be counted, but persons to be approached, listened, walked with and embraced. And that is why, dear friends, the Church puts so much emphasis, especially with Pope Francis, to go up to the peripheries of the world and to make the people at the periphery at the center stage of the church.
Pope Francis says, and in his message of the World Day of the Poor 2021, the theme is ‘The poor you will always have with you.’ And he invites us in his message to share in the human condition and embrace the situation that the poor are in. Because whenever we share in their human conditions, we share in the situations of live, they help us to review our own priorities and our own lifestyles, and to live a life of simplicity.
And sometimes, dear friends, whenever we are physically engaged with the poor, we also need to remember that we have to also be emotionally disengaged at times. Because whenever we walk together with them, we nurture this culture of encounter, this culture of solidarity which needs to be fostered in our community. And while the poor needs our assistance like basic food, shelter, medication, education, and so many different ways especially in this time of pandemic, there are so much of need all around us, and the poor are all around us.
But he tells us in his message, the poor too has a wealth of riches to share with us. And this is an act of reciprocity where we give and we receive. Because the poor, dear friends, with the simplicity of life, with the joy in simpleness of going through or conducting their lives, they too have a sense of hope, they too have a lot of things to offer us in his wisdom and his understanding of how to live our lives because they are able to live their lives in simplicity, joy, happiness and with so much hope. Sometimes we who have might not experience that as well.
So the Pope says the poor teaches us to grow in faith, wisdom and understanding. And they tell us who Jesus is, they tell us who the Father is, and they tell us how to live as a community. The poor are always present with us. Let us recognize them and make them part of our lives as instruments of our salvation. And that is his invitation, dear friends, to acknowledge the people who are poor are not people whom we should disregard but whom we should embrace and whom we should be an instrument, to be included as part of our lives and they become an instrument of our salvation. In the parish in this time of pandemic, we have undertaken so many projects, so many ways of reaching out to the poor. And many of you have been very generous in the engagement that we have done.
And today I would like to let you watch this little video that has been put together and we conclude with a prayer for the poor.
Click below to listen to homily and watch video:-