reflections, updates and homilies from Deacon Mike Talbot inspired by the following words from my ordination: Receive the Gospel of Christ whose herald you have become. Believe what you read, teach what you believe and practice what you teach...
Sunday, November 13, 2016
The homeless were VIP's at today's Papal Mass
Homeless have VIP seats for pope's Mass in St. Peter's
FRANCES D'EMILIO,Associated Press
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Homeless people had VIP seats at a special Mass Sunday in St. Peter's Basilica, where Pope Francis stressed the need to avoid exclusionary views that reject those in need.
Francis had invited homeless and impoverished people to one of his last Masses during the Holy Year of Mercy he established to stress that virtue. The Holy Year ends on Nov. 20.
Along with cardinals and other prelates dressed in impeccably pressed, bright green vestments, homeless people sat near the ornate central altar. Some of the homeless sported straggly beards or torn and stained clothing. One man's large tattoo on his scalp was evident when he bowed his head in prayer, a sharp contrast to the often prim attire and well-groomed aspect of faithful near the altar.
In his homily, Francis said God and neighbor are the most valuable riches in life.
"Everything else — the heavens, the earth, all that is beautiful, even this basilica — will pass away, but we must never exclude God or others from our lives," the pope said.
The pope elaborated on his recent comments encouraging social policies of inclusion, amid a backdrop of the rising popularity of politicians advocating exclusionary policies toward migrants of other religions, races or ethnicities in several developed countries.
"It is ominous that we are growing used to this rejection," the pope said. "We should be worried when our consciences are anesthetized and we no longer see the brother or sister suffering at our side, or notice the grave problems in the world, which become a mere refrain familiar from the headlines on the evening news."
He called it a "symptom of spiritual sclerosis" when people focus on producing goods instead of loving others.
Frances D'Emilio can be followed at www.twitter.com/fdemilio