A Heart Rich with Love for the Poor

A Heart Rich with Love for the Poor

If you help the poor, you are lending to the Lord— and He will repay you!” Proverbs 19:17

Pope Francis could be visiting India later this year.

There is a problem that makes it “could be” rather than “will.”

He has yet to be invited!

In March last year, it had seemed like the Government of India would issue an invitation to the Pope. The Prime Minister actually considered it, despite much pressure from fundamentalists in his party. He wanted to erase the nation that minorities in India are overlooked. However, he did nothing about it. Through 2016, several Catholic delegations including the CBCI, and Goa Catholic leaders’ ones, visited Delhi to persuade the PM to invite Pope Francis. Modi has been ambivalent and evasive.

If the invitation materializes and the Holy Father becomes the fourth Pope to visit India, there is no doubt that Pope Francis would love the country deeply. No Pope has exhibited a bigger heart for the poor than the current one. Just a couple of days ago, he announced an important and urgent prayer to his list of January prayers: he implored Catholics globally to pay for all those who live on the streets with no shelter, especially during the cold winter weather.

Pope Francis with poor children

Let the little children come to me – Pope Francis with the poor during a visit to the Philippines.

Pope Francis announced that his “urgent” prayer for the month of January 2017 is for all those who live on the streets with no shelter, especially during the cold winter weather. “During these very cold days, I think of and I invite you to think of all the people who live on the streets, affected by the cold and many times by indifference. Let us ask the Lord to warm our hearts so as to be able to help them.”

The Pope looked out over frozen St. Peter's Square and the thousands of pilgrims bundled up below the window to the Apostolic Palace … and he shivered. Fountains inside the square are frozen, with ice on the cobblestone beside them where the water had splashed over.

His attention to the homeless isn't surprising, as it has been a consistent concern for Francis since the beginning of his pontificate. Not only did he have showers and a barber service installed in the bathrooms in St. Peter's Square to help the homeless stay clean and tidy, he has invited them to several events in the Vatican, including concerts and tours of the museums, and they have consistently been his special guests for breakfast on his birthday.

His robes are likely to be drenched in compassion should he ever encounter the street children in unconcerned and callous India.

by the NLTCE team

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