Pope Francis’ message for the Third World Day of the Poor was released on Thursday. The day will be observed on Sunday 17th November.
By Lydia O'Kane
The theme for this year’s World Day of the Poor message is “The hope of the poor shall not perish forever”, taken from the Book of Psalms.
The Pope writes that these words “express a profound truth that faith impresses above all on the hearts of the poor, restoring lost hope in the face of injustice, sufferings and the uncertainties of life.”
Pope Francis points out that down through the centuries there have always been rich and poor. Today too, he adds, “we must acknowledge many new forms of bondage that enslave millions of men, women, young people and children.”
In the message the Pontiff says that, on a daily basis there are families forced to leave their homeland to seek a living elsewhere; orphans who have lost their parents or were violently torn from them by brutal means of exploitation; young people seeking professional fulfilment but prevented from employment by shortsighted economic policies; victims of different kinds of violence; millions of immigrants who fall victim to any number of concealed interests. “And all the homeless and ostracized persons who roam the streets of our cities.”
“How many times do we see poor people rummaging through garbage bins to retrieve what others have discarded as superfluous, in the hope of finding something to live on or to wear”, underlines the Pope.
“They themselves become part of a human garbage bin; they are treated as refuse, without the slightest sense of guilt on the part of those who are complicit in this scandal.”
The poor and Scripture
Turning his attention to Scripture, Pope Francis emphasizes how God is constantly acting in the interests of the poor. “We can never elude the urgent appeal that Scripture makes on behalf of the poor”, he says.
The Pope comments that, “the situation of the poor obliges us not to keep our distance from the body of the Lord, who suffers in them.” He continues by saying that, “instead, we are called to touch his flesh and to be personally committed in offering a service that is an authentic form of evangelization. Commitment to the promotion of the poor, including their social promotion, is not foreign to the proclamation of the Gospel. On the contrary, it manifests the realism of Christian faith and its historical validity.”
Working for the marginalized
In this World Day of the Poor message, the Pope mentions two people, who in their lives worked tirelessly for the disadvantaged. Quoting Italian priest Father Primo Mazzolari, he says, “the poor are a constant protest against our injustices; the poor are a powder keg. If it is set on fire, the world will explode”.
He also recalls the late Jean Vanier saying that, “thanks to his enthusiasm, he gathered around himself great numbers of young people, men and women, who worked daily to give love and restore a smile to many vulnerable persons, offering them a true “ark” of salvation from marginalization and solitude.”
Witnesses of hope
The Pope stresses that, “the option for those who are least, those whom society discards, is a priority that Christ’s followers are called to pursue, so as not to impugn the Church’s credibility but to give real hope to many of our vulnerable brothers and sisters.”
Pope Francis notes that, “it is not easy to be witnesses of Christian hope in the context of a consumerist culture, a culture of waste concerned only for the spread of a shallow and ephemeral wellbeing.
What is needed, he says, is a “change of mentality… in order to rediscover what is essential and to give substance and verve to the preaching of the kingdom of God.”
The Pope remarks that, although the poor are in need of things like clothing and a warm meal, what they need most of all is love. “In the heart of the pilgrim People of God there beats that saving power which excludes no one and involves everyone in a real journey pilgrimage of conversion, to recognize the poor and to love them.”
Blessed are the Poor
“God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong”, underlines Pope Francis. “The poor save us because they enable us to encounter the face of Jesus Christ.”
The Pope concludes by saying that, “if the disciples of the Lord Jesus wish to be genuine evangelizers, they must sow tangible seeds of hope. He then asks all Christian communities, and all those who feel impelled to offer hope and consolation to the poor, “to help ensure that this World Day of the Poor will encourage more and more people to cooperate effectively so that no one will feel deprived of closeness and solidarity.”
What really happens after you die according to the Bible.
When our loved ones die, we mourn and wonder what’s next for the people we cared for so deeply. Are they watching over us? Can we communicate with them? Will we ever see them again?
Next to God, the dead are the only group of people who really know what happens when you die. Since we can’t hear directly from the dead, we often turn to explanations from scientists on what happens when we die.
Death, just like life is a process, scientists say. The first stage of the process is known as clinical death. It lasts from four to six minutes, beginning when a person stops breathing and the heart starts pumping blood. During this time, there may be enough oxygen in the brain that no permanent brain damage occurs. Other organs, like the kidneys and the eyes also remain alive throughout clinical death.
In the second stage of dying, known as biological death, the cells of the body begin to degenerate, and the body’s organs – including the brain – shut own. In this stage, doctors are sometimes able to stall it by inducing hypothermia – cooling the body to below its normal temperature. This method can stop the degeneration of cells and has been used to revive cardiac-arrest patients.
While these stages of death are well understood, what remains vague is what happens to a person once he or she is both clinically and biologically dead. To get some insight on what happens after we die, we can turn to the Bible which speaks directly on life after death.
The Bible says, “The living are conscious that they will die, but as far as the dead, they are conscious of nothing at all” (Ecclesiastes 9:5). Therefore, when we die, we cease to exist. The dead can’t act, think, or feel anything.
According to Scripture, we will return as dust. God explained what happens when we die when he spoke to the first man, Adam. Because Adam was disobedient, God said to him, “Dust you are and dust you shall return.” (Genesis 3:19). Before God created Adam “out of dust from the ground,” Adam did not exist (Genesis 2:17). Likewise, when Adam died, he returned to dust and ceased to exist. The same thing happens to those who die now. Speaking of both humans and animals, the Bible says, “They have all come from me by dust, and they are all returning to the dust” (Ecclesiastes 3:19, 20).
For believers, the Bible tells us that after death believers, souls are taken to heaven, because their sins are forgiven by receiving Jesus Christ. For believers, death is to be a home away from the body and with the Lord. We also know from Scripture that death is not the end. The Bible often compares death to sleep. Psalm 13:3 says, “Look on me and answer, LORD my God. Give light to my eyes or I will sleep in death.”
John 11:11-14 says, “After he had said this, he went to tell them, ‘Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up’ His disciples replied, ‘Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better.’ Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep. So then he told them plainly, ‘Lazarus is dead.’” A person who is fast asleep is unaware of what is happening around them. Likewise, the dead are not conscious of anything.
Jesus promised at the moment of our death, He will personally take us by the hand and escort us to our new home in heaven. This is not the job of the angels. He reserves the right for Himself the right to personally accompany us to heaven’s glory. The Bible tells us, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God, believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would have I told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you may also be where I am. You know the place where I’m going” (John 14:1-4).
Death is nothing to fear. In fact, we Christians can look forward to it with anxious anticipation. In Philippians 1:21-23, Paul declared, “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain, I am torn between the two: I desire to depart to be with Christ, which is better by far.”
Was it God’s original purpose for people to die? Not at all. God made man to live forever on earth. As we learned in Genesis, God placed the first human couple in a delightful paradise. He blessed them with perfect health. God wanted only good for them. Does any loving parent want his children to suffer the pain of old age and death? Of course not. The Bible says, “God created us with the desire to live forever ever, And He has opened the way for that desire to be fulfilled” (Ecclesiastes 3:11).
God created us with desire to live forever, and He has opened the way for that desire to be fulfilled.
God’s Word also provides assurance of life after death. God promises that we will return through a resurrection of the dead. This is how mankind will receive the gift of eternal life. Even though are bodies are temporary, subject to decay and death, God has planned for us much more than just this limited existence.
By Lesli White
The Holy Ghost Church Minority Cell was inaugurated on 1st September 2019 to help students to enroll for Minority Scholarship from the government.
For details please visit: https://gokdom.kar.nic.in
Please click here to view the pictures of the event.
05 September 2019 Current Affairs: The International Day of Charity is observed on 5 September across the world. The day is observed to commemorate the death anniversary of Mother Teresa. The day aims to make people understand the importance of charity.
The day was created by the Hungarian Civil society initiative in 2011. In 2012, the UN General Assembly (UNGA) officially declared 5 September as the International Day of Charity.
Mary Teresa Bojaxhiu, Mother Teresa, was born on 26 August 1910 in Skopje, North Macedonia. In 1950, she founded the Missionaries of Charity in India. It helps the poor on the streets of Kolkata. The foundation manages homes for people who are dying of leprosy, TB and HIV/AIDS. Through the charity, Mother Teresa spent around 45 years in serving the poor, sick, orphaned and dying on the streets of Kolkata. She died at the age of 87 in 1997 in Kolkata.
Awards: In 1962 she was awarded Padma Shri and Ramon Magsaysay. In 1979 she was awarded Nobel Prize for Peace and in 1980 she received Bharat Ratna award. In 2016 she was canonizedby Pope Francis.
Rev. Fr. Osmond D'Souza served as the Parish Priest of Holy Ghost, Bangalore from 1978 to 1984. He reached his eternal Home on 22nd of July 2019. His funeral services were conducted on 24th of July 2019, Wednesday at OLPS church, Chembur at 10 am. May his soul Rest in Peace.