The Pope plans a surprise lunch for the poor on World Poverty Day
As World Day of the Poor was celebrated for the first time, Pope Francis planned his own sweet surprise for the poor. The Pope invited 1,500 poor homeless people for Mass and lunch at the Vatican. Along with these, another 2,000 people were invited to a kitchen serving lunch for the poor around Rome.
The menu was prepared by Sergio Duss, the same chef who prepares banquets for dignitaries visiting the Vatican. The menu consisted of mini gnocchi, fish with tomatoes, olives, Venetian cheese, veal with vegetables and Venetian tiramisu. The guests came from Rome and all regions of Italy but there were also guests from France, Spain, Germany and Poland.
In his homily, the Pope said that aid for the poor is a passport to Paradise. Francis said even if the world still does not value poor people, for God they have great value and they show us the way to Heaven.
Meanwhile, in his special message for World Day of the Poor , Francis stressed that it is a scandal how poverty is emerging in large areas of society all over the world and that wealth is ending up in the hands of the privileged few. He stated that poverty is a call for us to follow Christ who was poor because this keeps us from thinking only about money and career and building our lives and our happiness on them.
The Pope urged Christians to walk in the steps of St. Francis of Assisi, to listen to the cry of the poor and work to raise them from the desperate situation they are in. He called on Christians to respond to the culture of waste and to move towards the poor and invite them to the dinner table. He concluded by saying the poor were not a problem but a resource that enables us to live the Gospel.
Pope Francis’ message on World Day of the Poor:
“If we want to help change history, we need to hear the cry of the poor and commit ourselves to ending their marginalization. We cannot remain passive. Blessed are the hands that reach beyond every barrier of culture, religion, and nationality, and pour the balm of consolation over the wounds of humanity. Blessed are the open hands that ask nothing in exchange, with no “ifs” or “buts” or “maybes”: they are hands that call down God’s blessing upon their brothers and sisters.
This new World Day should become a powerful appeal to our consciences as believers, allowing us to grow in the conviction that sharing with the poor enables us to understand the deepest truth of the Gospel. The poor are not a problem: they are a resource from which to draw as we strive to accept and practice in our lives the essence of the Gospel.”