By Leela Ramdeen, Chair, CCSJ & AMMR
Today is the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. The theme is: Building Forward Together: Ending Persistent Poverty, Respecting all People and our Planet. We can only build together if we see Christ in the face of each person and accept that we are trustees of God’s Creation.
Pope Francis’ Message for the 5th World Day of the Poor (November 14) is: “The poor you will always have with you” (Mk 14:7).
The journalist, Gian Paolo Pezzi, is right; Pope Francis’ encyclical, Fratelli Tutti, on fraternity and social friendship, is “a social meditation on the Good Samaritan and we should read it in the context of the central concern of Pope Francis for the poor and the Christian journey of our commitment to them…justice in social life is essential, not an option, and the cry of the poor for justice has to be heard.”
If we are to stand in solidarity with the poor, we must strive to “overcome the main obstacle to social justice, that is the innumerable social, economic, and political inequalities. Pope Francis put it clearly, ‘While the income of a minority is increasing exponentially, that of the majority is crumbling. Economic and political theory or action must set about providing each inhabitant of the planet with the minimum wherewithal to live in dignity and freedom’, to support their family, educate their children, praise God and develop one’s own human potential” (Pezzi).
Let’s hear the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.