Saturday, 21 November 2020 18:11

Parishes and communities mobilized for the 4th World Day of the Poor outreach

In the midst of the outbreak of coronavirus in the Philippines, the Archdiocese of Manila celebrated the 4th World Day of the Poor on November 15, 2020.

The Commission on Social Services of the Archdiocese spearheaded the activity for this year’s celebration. Parishes, organizations and communities were requested to contribute rice to support families in the archdiocese that were affected by the typhoons that recently struck the country.

Photo Credit: Most Holy Trinity Parish Facebook Page

In his homily during the celebration of World Day of the Poor, Bishop Broderick Pabillo, apostolic administrator of Manila, has reminded the faithful of the challenges that this pandemic has brought. He then called on the people to rise up together and help one another.

“In all of these, we are being challenged to stand up together and put our resources together and help. Una, ang mga kalamidad na ito ay masakit na paala-ala na hindi talaga natin mapanghahawakan ang mga ari-arian at pati na ang buhay natin. Isipin na lang natin ang mga bahay na lumubog. Ang lahat na pinundar sa bahay na iyon ay nawala na rin. Kaya kung iyan lang ang pinag-iipunan natin, kay daling nawala. Pangalawa, ang mga sakunang ito ay maaaring malakas na panawagan sa atin that we help one another. We help not only with what is extra for us, but even with what we need, because others are more in need,” said the Bishop.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has also declared Nov. 15, 2020, as Alay Kapwa Sunday. Alay Kapwa Sunday is usually a Lenten Season Program during which a second collection is done in churches. The collections are used as funds to respond to the needs of those who are affected by calamities.

In the Vatican City, His Holiness Pope Francis also celebrated Mass for the 4th World Day of the Poor at the St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, Italy. Although, according to the Catholic News Agency (CNA), the pandemic has forced the Vatican to scale down the activities for the poor in marking the event.

During the Mass, around 100 people along with volunteers and benefactors were present inside the basilica wearing face masks. Others who attended wore yellow vests with the logo of the World Day of the Poor.

Pope Francis was not able to host and organize the annual lunch for the homeless people in Rome, which he does after the Mass in the past years. The Vatican was also unable to provide a “field hospital” for the poor in Saint Peter’s Square for a week as it had in the past. But still, they were able to set up a smaller clinic under the colonnade at Saint Peter’s Square where free COVID-19 tests are provided.

In his homily, the Pontiff reflected on the Gospel reading (Matthew 25:14-30) also known as the Parable of the Talents. He said: “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.”

The World Day of the Poor is celebrated yearly every 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time as was established by Pope Francis when he promulgated his Apostolic Letter Misericordia et Misera on Nov. 20, 2016, to celebrate the Extraordinary Year of Mercy. This year’s theme for the celebration is “Stretch forth your hand to the poor” (Sir 6:7).

In his message for the 2020 World Day of the Poor, the pope said: “This pandemic arrived suddenly and caught us unprepared, sparking a powerful sense of bewilderment and helplessness. This has made us all the more aware of the presence of the poor in our midst and their need for help.” (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)


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