Between 6,000 and 7,000 poor people attended the Mass. Pope Francis has urged all men and women of goodwill to ask for the grace “to hear the cry of all those tossed by the waves of life. The cry of the poor”. “It is the cry of the elderly, cast off and abandoned to themselves. It is the cry of all those who face the storms of life without the presence of a friend. It is the cry of all those forced to flee their homes and native land for an uncertain future. It is the cry of entire peoples, deprived even of the great natural resources at their disposal. […]The cry of the poor daily becomes stronger but heard less, drowned out by the din of the rich few, who grow ever fewer and more rich,” the Pope said.
The Pope eating lunch with the poors
People have a basic choice in the way they live: either striving to build up treasures on earth or giving to others in order to gain heaven, Pope Francis has said. A conclusion results: “What we invest in love remains, the rest vanishes.” “In the poor, Jesus knocks on the doors of our heart, thirsting for our love,” he said. Pope Francis told the crowd that he hoped “the poor would be at the center of our communities not only at times like this, but always, because they are at the heart of the Gospel. In them, we encounter Jesus who speaks to us and calls us through their suffering and their needs.” Pope Francis recited the Angelus prayer with thousands of people in St. Peter’s Square. In addition to the bread and wine that were consecrated at the Mass, the offertory included a large basket of bread and rolls that were blessed to be shared at the lunch the pope was offering after Mass. Some 1,500 poor people joined the Pope in the Vatican’s audience hall for the meal.