Poor generated by the war, the pandemic, the economic crisis. Poor to recognize, love, help.
by Cristiano Comelli Poor generated by the war, the pandemic, the economic crisis. Poor to recognize, love, help. And in which to see the authentic face of Christ who speaks and invites fraternal love concretely lived. For the “World Day of the Poor” scheduled for November 13 on the theme “Jesus Christ became poor for you” Pope Francis has drafted a full-bodied and significant message full of reflections that intertwine current events and spirituality. Also this year the day, for the Holy Father, must be “a healthy provocation to help us reflect on our style of life and on the many poverties of the present moment”.
Starting from a reflection on the tragic moment of the pandemic from which we can come out by reinvigorating “direct interpersonal relationships” and with the willingness “to meet again without more constraints or restrictions”. If the pandemic seems to have granted a respite while still present, now a new humanitarian emergency has come to the fore, namely the war in Ukraine. A war that, explains the Supreme Pontiff, “has come to add to the regional wars that in recent years have been reaping death and destruction, with a more complex framework, however, due to the direct intervention of a superpower that intends to impose its will against the principle of ‘self-determination of peoples ”.
He does not mention names of nations but the references are very clear. “How many poor does the senselessness of war generate – he continues – wherever you look, you can see how violence affects defenseless and weaker people, deportation of thousands of people, especially boys and girls, to uproot them and impose another identity, in these situations reason is obscured and those who suffer the consequences are so many ordinary people who join the already large number of poor people ”. The sixth World Poverty Day comes to try to give relief and a response of love and charity to these tragedies.
In fact, the Holy Father adds, taking up Paul’s invitation that the centrality must be focused on “keeping your gaze fixed on Jesus who, from being rich, made himself poor for you so that you became rich through his poverty”. In all this sea of suffering, beacons appear that point towards the meeting of mutual solidarity in the form of “readiness which, in recent years – continues Pope Francis – has moved entire populations to open their doors to welcome millions of refugees from wars in the Middle East,” in Central Africa and now in Ukraine “.
These are families who, he adds, “have thrown open their homes to make room for other families, and communities that” have generously welcomed so many women and children to offer them due dignity “. In these experiences, according to the Holy Father, we can clearly read the true meaning of solidarity as “sharing the little we have with those who have nothing so that no one suffers”. Taking up again a letter addressed by the apostle Paul to the Corinthians, Pope Francis affirms how certainly carrying out a work of charity represents a gesture of great enthusiasm of heart but can truly receive meaning if supported by sincerity.
“In front of the poor, there is no rhetoric – adds Pope Francis – but we roll up our sleeves and put faith into practice through direct involvement that cannot be delegated to anyone”. The Holy Father warns against “a form of relaxation that leads to inconsistent behaviors such as indifference towards the poor”. Living solidarity with the poor also entails a just and not excessive consideration of the value of money.
The risk is that exasperating its value, Pope Francis continues, could “lead to an ephemeral and unsuccessful vision of life”. No, therefore, to a behavior that is merely welfare and space, he adds, to “a sincere and generous attention that allows you to approach a poor person like a brother who holds out his hand because I wake up from the torpor into which I fell” .
None of us, continues the Holy Father, “is in the world to survive”. Instead, everyone has the right to “a worthy and happy life”. For this it becomes essential to banish that poverty that kills residing in his opinion in “misery, the daughter of injustice, exploitation, violence and the unjust distribution of resources”.
And likewise, he continues, it is necessary to get rid of that law of calculating earnings at the end of the day, as a result of which “there is no longer any brakes in adopting the logic of exploiting people”. The poor, says the Holy Father, “in reality, before being the object of our alms, are subjects that help free us from the snares of restlessness and superficiality”.
There is only one richness to be tied to, says the Supreme Pontiff, “following the poverty of Jesus Christ, sharing life out of love, breaking the bread of one’s existence with brothers and sisters, starting with the least, with those who lack necessary, for equality to be made, the poor are freed from misery and the rich from vanity, both without hope ”. Words that lead straight to the final wish, that for which the World Day of the Poor “becomes an opportunity for grace”.