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Pope reflects on 1st corporal work of mercy

October 19, 2016

Continuing his weekly catechetical addresses on mercy, Pope Francis devoted his October 19 general audience to the importance of feeding the hungry.

“Among the corporal works of mercy, the first is that of feeding the hungry,” he told the crowds gathered in St. Peter’s Square, in the words of the official English-language synthesis of his remarks. “Access to food and water is a basic human right, yet so many members of our human family, especially children, continue to suffer from hunger and thirst.”

“While grateful for the generosity and solidarity shown in the case of many tragic situations worldwide, we must never forget that this work of mercy calls us to respond personally to concrete situations of need in our own lives,” he continued. “Saint James warns against ignoring the practical needs of our brothers and sisters, for faith without works is dead (Jas 2:14-17).”

The Pope added:

In the miracle of the loaves and fishes, Jesus tells his disciples to provide food for the crowds, yet he shows them that, in sharing what they have, he will give it increase. Jesus himself is the bread of life, and he makes it clear that our relationship with the Father depends on the way we respond to the hunger and thirst of our brothers and sisters.

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