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Pope explains what feeding the hungry and giving drink to the thirsty really means

2016-10-19

(VIDEO ONLY) In his General Audience, Pope Francis talked about the importance of the corporal works of mercy of feeding the hungry and giving drink to the thirsty.

Pope Francis said that people should go further than donating money to NGO's; people should be charitable every day, when they are physically confronted with poverty. Quoting from the Book of James, Pope Francis warned that "faith without works is dead.”

As he announced last week, this was the first of the catecheses the pope will devote to the different works of mercy.

SUMMARY OF THE CATECHESIS IN ENGLISH 

Dear Brothers and Sisters:

In our catechesis for this Holy Year of Mercy, we
have reflected on God’s mercy and our own responsibility, as followers of Jesus, to be "merciful like the Father”. 

Among the corporal works of mercy, the first is that of feeding the hungry. Access to food and water is a basic human right, yet so many members of our human family, especially children, continue to suffer from hunger and thirst. 

While grateful for the generosity and solidarity shown in the case of many tragic situations worldwide, we must never forget that this work of mercy calls us to respond personally to concrete situations of need in our own lives. 

Saint James warns against ignoring the practical needs of our brothers and sisters, for faith without works is dead (Jas 2:14-17). In the miracle of the loaves and fishes, Jesus tells his disciples to provide food for the crowds, yet he shows them that, in sharing what they have, he will give it increase. 

Jesus himself is the bread of life, and he makes it clear that our relationship with the Father depends on the way we respond to the hunger and thirst of our brothers and sisters.

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