19th Sunday 33 A.  WORLD DAY OF THE POOR. “Do not turn your face away from anyone who is poor” (Tob 4:7). The parish Care Group gathered for their “tea, biscuit and sharing” time after the monthly Mass for the elderly. Doris opened with, “One of my favourite verses in the Bible is from Proverbs  and it is interesting that it is the 1st reading for this coming World Day of the Poor on Sunday. “Who can find a good wife? She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy.” It makes me feel good to work together with my husband in the SSVP and share in their work of caring for the poor.” The group listened quietly and one by one they shared their story and acknowledged each other. Audrey said, “My mother was very involved in this work too and we watched her going to lots of meetings. Because of my disability I could never do more than stay home and knit blanket squares, but lots of lonely people used to come by and I taught them to knit too. Although we never made money out of it we were delighted to win a prize for the greatest number of blankets we donated to the children’s home.” Florence only occasionally came and sometimes she looked really frail. As they listened to her story they realised how poor and difficult her home life was, an abusive alcoholic man who abused her and their daughter. Norah had been raped and become pregnant. George had lost his leg in an accident. Beauty ‘s life had been wonderful until she had a battle with cancer.  Each one, rich and poor, had a life story of pains and joys.  As they shared and listened and acknowledged, they understood how supportive such a group could be to the women and the occasional man in their daily battles against poverty of so many kinds.  Adam put up a poster with his favourite saying of St Mother Teresa. “The greatest poverty is lack of love.”   They nodded and went home encouraged.    

 Reflect, share, Scripture.   Who can find a good wife? The heart of her husband trusts in her. She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy.  From Proverbs 31.     Pope Francis: The message for WORLD DAY OF THE POOR 2023 tells in short part of the story of the book of Tobit, of the family of Tobit and Anna and their son Tobias. Tobit a very righteous man living in exile among pagans sends his son off on a journey and gives him this advice. “Revere the Lord all your days, my son and refuse to sin or to transgress his commandments. Live uprightly all the days of your life and do not walk in the ways of wrongdoing. Do not turn your face away from anyone who is poor.”  His father encourages him, “to all those who practice righteousness give alms from your possessions and do not let your eye begrudge the gift when you make it.” Tobit  4:7   Download the whole message from.     https://www.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/messages/poveri/documents/20230613-messaggio-vii-giornatamondiale-poveri-2023.html   Action and prayer:  Remember in prayer the needs around poverty in families, the church and society. How can I and my family help.