As I reflect on the First World Day of the Poor I have no problem imagining Jesus and St. Vincent de Paul cheering Pope Francis not only for calling for this annual day of remembrance of those who are poor but also for casting it in the framework of the Beatitudes.
Pope Francis’ beatitudes
Blessed, therefore, are the open hands that embrace the poor and help them: they are hands that bring hope.
Blessed are the hands that reach beyond every barrier of culture, religion, and nationality, and pour the balm of consolation over the wounds of humanity.
Blessed are the open hands that ask nothing in exchange, with no “ifs” or “buts” or “maybes”: they are hands that call down God’s blessing upon their brothers and sisters.
Jesus – Beatitudes
“‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’” Mt. 25:40
““The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,* because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.”
St. Vincent’s life embodied the Beatitudes
Vincentian Family accepts the challenge in “Welcoming the stranger.”
“If you dream alone, your dream is still only a dream; but if we dream together, the dream comes true!” Vincent de Paul used to say that ours must be an affective and effective love.”
This certainly echoes the theme chosen by Pope Francis – “Let us love, not with words but with deeds,”