AMERICA/COLOMBIA - Day of the Poor: not only welfare, but a commitment to transforming society

Thursday, 8 November 2018 poverty   local churches  


Bogota (Agenzia Fides) – To react to the culture of waste, promoting the culture of encounter, strengthening the Christian communities so that they may be more and more a concrete sign of Christ's love for the last and the most needy: these are the objectives of the "Day of the Poor", on Sunday 18 November, which the Colombian Church invites to celebrate through the National Secretariat of Social Pastoral Care (SNPS) - Caritas Colombia. "This poor cries and the Lord hears him" (Ps 34) is the theme proposed this year by the Pope to all Catholics and people of good will, so that they are not indifferent to those who invoke our help and our solidarity.
"This initiative of Pope Francis is an opportunity for us to live fraternity, solidarity, in the family, in parishes, in dioceses - explains Father Enán Xavier Humánez, deputy director of the SNPS - Caritas Colombia, in the statement sent to Fides -. The Holy Father’s message emphasizes three verbs: to cry out, to respond and to free, so as to listen to the call of many brothers who are in need, living the Works of mercy".
For the occasion, some brochures have been prepared: the teachings on the poor in the Bible and in the Magisterium, reflections on the II World Day of the poor, commitments and initiatives to be carried out in ecclesiastical circumscriptions and in different social contexts.
Among the proposals presented to live this day, the one that stands out is the invitation to the poor to participate together with the community at Masses on Sunday 18 November, not as spectators, but actively engaged in proclaiming the readings, in the prayers of the faithful, in the offertory procession. If we live with poor or needy people near us, on this Sunday we can invite them to share lunch in our family as "guests of honor" which will help us to live our faith in a more coherent way.
Living charity is the commitment and mission of the whole Church, which is why it is also necessary to strengthen the parish and diocesan Caritas, which animate and accompany the community's commitment for the excluded.
Another objective for this occasion is to promote the formation of the laity in the social doctrine of the Church, to concentrate efforts on the construction of a new economic system centered on the human person. The invitation is not to reduce the day of the poor only to "welfare", but also to promote the birth of new men for a civilization of love.
Caritas Colombia also invites to produce brochures, also using social media, which spread the Pope's message and the activities that parishes and dioceses promote. Finally, the awareness that Mother Earth is also marginalized, exploited and mistreated should encourage organizing environmental education activities, plant trees, collect garbage, promote recycling programs, clean public places, paint murals with ecological messages, organize meetings in educational institutions, concerts, etc. (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 8/11/2018)