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Do not be indifferent to the poor, Pope preaches at jubilee of the excluded

November 14, 2016

As the extraordinary jubilee year of mercy draws to a close, Pope Francis celebrated Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica on November 13 for the homeless and other socially excluded persons in precarious situations.

“Almost everything in this world is passing away, like running water,” Pope Francis preached to 6,000 people in the basilica, many of whom are poor or homeless. “What endures, what has value in life, what riches do not disappear? Surely these two: the Lord and our neighbor.”

“These are the greatest goods; these are to be loved,” the Pope added. “Everything else – the heavens, the earth, all that is most beautiful, even this Basilica – will pass away; but we must never exclude God or others from our lives.”

Pope Francis continued:

When we speak of exclusion, we immediately think of concrete people, not useless objects but precious persons. The human person, set by God at the pinnacle of creation, is often discarded, set aside in favor of ephemeral things. This is unacceptable, because in God’s eyes man is the most precious good. It is ominous that we are growing used to this rejection. We should be worried when our consciences are anaesthetized and we no longer see the brother or sister suffering at our side, or notice the grave problems in our world ...

As he concluded his homily, the Pope invoked the example of St. Lawrence.

“I would like today to be the ‘day of the poor,’” he preached. “We are reminded of this by an ancient tradition according to which the Roman martyr Lawrence, before suffering a cruel martyrdom for the love of the Lord, distributed the goods of the community to the poor, whom he described as the true treasure of the Church. May the Lord grant that we may look without fear to what truly matters, and turn our hearts to our true treasure.”

 
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