From Vatican Radio:
Pope Francis offered lunch to the friends of a homeless man, following his funeral Mass celebrated at the Roman church of Santa Maria in Traspontina, just down the street from St. Peter’s Square on the Via della Conciliazione. The luncheon was held at the Jesuit-run “Gift of Mercy” house in the nearby Via dei Penitenzieri. The Director of the Press Office of the Holy See identified the deceased as a 57 year-old named Boris, who was of Polish extraction and who died some two weeks ago. Bureaucratic complications kept the rites from being celebrated until Saturday.
Meantime, Tom Zampino today offers this reflection on the homeless:
Shouldn’t someone be teaching them “how to fish” rather than begging for a handout? Why should we be made to feel guilty? We already pay taxes to help them. As NYC police commissioner Bill Bratton said, “homeless panhandlers” might simply disappear if only people stopped giving them money. Well, yes, all of that is true. But it’s also beside the point. We aren’t called to save the world. We are called to act with mercy, charity and love, especially toward those whose paths cross ours every day. We can lift up just one person, that one fellow soul, the one who is agitated, exhausted, cold, smelly, ignored and practically left for dead, groveling right there in front of us. We can, in short, prevent them from disappearing. At least for today. So how do we best help? How do we begin to forge a path towards the homeless, to treat them with kindness and charity in this Year of Mercy?
Read on for some suggestions.
Photo: CNS/Paul Haring