Statement by Bishop Michael F. Burbidge on World Day of the Poor


For your sakes Christ became poor (cf. 2 Cor 8:9)

On Sunday, November 13, the Catholic Church will observe the sixth annual World Day of the Poor, initiated by Pope Francis to help Catholics refocus their lives to what truly matters as followers of Christ. For as St. Paul reminds us in his second letter to the Corinthians, “For your sakes Christ became poor.”(cf. 2 Cor 8:9) 

In covering himself with the mantle of poverty, Christ reveals the special love he has for the poor. As his disciples, we are called to become poor in spirit ourselves, seeking his grace to enable us to love each other as he loved us. With the grace of God, may we live in solidarity with those who are materially poor, lacking food, shelter, or the necessities of life; those living where war and violence rages around them, especially in Ukraine; and those who are spiritually poor, unaware of the knowledge of God's great love for them.

The Holy Father urges us to reject the poverty that comes with storing up “treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume, and where thieves break in and steal,” (Mt  6:19) and instead embrace a different form of poverty that can make us rich in holiness.

On this World Day of the Poor, may we renew our promise to walk in solidarity with our brothers and sisters who are poor and lift their needs in prayer, especially at Mass. May we also embrace opportunities to share our time and treasure with them, through our own initiatives, or through ministries of service at our parishes and Catholic Charities, which seek to serve and accompany the poor in our diocese every day of the year.

May God bless and watch over all of us, especially our brothers and sisters in most need.