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World Day of the Poor

November 15, 2020

One of many poor African children, Ghana, Author Youssefbhy (CC BY-SA 4.0 International).

He raises the poor from the dust And lifts the beggar from the ash heap, To set them among princes And make them inherit the throne of glory” (1 Sam. 2: 8).

Today is World Day of the Poor, a Roman Catholic observance established in 2016 by Pope Francis via his Apostolic Letter, Misericordia et Misera (translated as “Mercy with Misery” or “Pity the Poor”).  Among other things, congregants are encouraged to speak with the homeless, and give alms to the poor.

The Bible is filled with instructions that we aid and protect the poor.  Here are just a few:

And you shall not glean your vineyard, nor shall you gather every grape of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and the stranger…” (Lev. 19: 10).

If one of your brethren becomes poor, and falls into poverty among you, then you shall help him…that he may live with you” (Lev. 25: 35).

If there is among you a poor man of your brethren, within any of the gates in your land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart nor shut your hand…” (Deut. 15: 7).

Do not rob the poor because he is poor, Nor oppress the afflicted at the gate... (Prov. 22: 22).

Open your mouth, judge righteously, And plead the cause of the poor and needy” (Prov. 31: 9).

But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind.  And you will be blessed…” (Luke 14: 13-14).

In God’s eyes, everyday is a day of the poor, and an opportunity for us to help them.


  1. So close to my heart.

    Thanks Anna.

  2. Wonderful to have a day set aside to remind us of those in need. The Catholic Church is so good about that and I believe that is where my greatest influence of helping the poor among us came from , as early my childhood years. God bless friend💕

  3. If one of your brethren becomes poor, and falls into poverty among you, then you shall help him…that he may live with you” –> “… that he may live with you”–this caught my eye today. The Filipino diaspora because of extreme poverty at home, a country which ironically is very rich in natural resources and with a clime that’s suitable for agriculture. Thank you for today’s reading, Anna. Bless you.

    • We have become hostile to immigrants — both legal and illegal — here in the US, as well. It astonishes me, given that we are a nation of immigrants. Where are those made homeless by war, violence, and famine to go? Do we expect them to vanish from the face of the earth? And why do we believe ourselves entitled to God’s blessings while they are not?

      • In South Africa as well. E.g. refugees from Zimbabwe for political and economic reasons. So locals burn down their shops etc, even though dependent on them for more affordable prices. I’m sure its a global issue. And of course Jesus was a refugee in his early years in N. Africa.

      • I understand that there is strong oral tradition in N. Africa that supports the presence of the Holy Family there.

      • For general interest, Prof. Thomas Oden, the American Methodist Church scholar (from Drew University), researched the huge influence of the early Church Fathers from North Africa on the early Church. Fascinating research conducted over many years by his team of scholars. Cf. articles on YouTube, ‘A Libyan History Awaiting Discovery’ by the African and Western Church, etc. Forgive me if already fully aware of these studies! As you can see I am enthusiastic about Africa, despite our continent’s many, many challenges.

      • Thank you so much for the information, Erroll. Many in the West are ignorant of the contributions Africa has made.

      • It would seem, Anna, that through the process of time we as a nation have forgotten where we came from. Or as they say here in the South: we’ve gotten above our raising. Every single American owes a debt of incalculable gratitude to the policy and programs of immigration.

        Nationalism and pride in one’s country can be a good thing, but when that nationalism takes the form of bigotry, exclusion, and the perception that we alone are worthy of God’s blessings, then we are truly delusional. It’s high time we as a nation realize that the same God who pours out blessings is the very same God who will withhold them from a people who are more closely aligned with the Laodicean church of Revelation than the church that Jesus Christ is the head of.

      • I could not agree w/ you more, Ron. I do not wish God’s retribution on this nation. I pray that we may yet turn our eyes to Him. But I do not see that happening.

      • Allan Halton permalink

        We are more open to immigrants here in Canada, but many Canadians are unhappy with that. This verse comes to mind. “Whoever shuts his ears to the cry of the poor will also cry himself and not be heard” (Pr. 21:13 NKJV).

      • We can only pray that eyes, ears and hearts be opened again; that the Holy Spirit and the love of Christ be welcomed to reside in each person’s heart. People could be a bit resistant to change, but there should be no fear in love.

        I’m also reminded of the very poor–those who could not even afford food, clothing and shelter–much less, fees/expenses to move to another place.

        The Lord bless your heart.

      • I join you in that prayer. May the Lord give us generous hearts.

  4. So beautifully done. Thank you Anna.

  5. Beautiful post Anna,
    It truly shows your heart, and vigilance 🙂

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