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Rome Reports

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Pope Francis brings 4,000 homeless to Mass and then invites them to lunch

As it could not be otherwise: the poor and most needy were the protagonists of the first World Day of the Poor.

Thousands came and filled St. Peter's Basilica, with several of them leading the procession that started the ceremony...

It was also the homeless who read the readings of the day.

During his homily, Pope Francis issued a warning.

From St. Peter's Basilica and before 4,000 needy people, the pope said the sin of omission is on the rise. This is the sin of those who think to “be good” it is enough to simply not to do bad things.

"We often think that we haven’t done anything wrong, and so we rest content, presuming that we are good and just."

He said that those who think God is a judge who only watches if he or she has sinned is wrong, because God is a father.

"But to do no wrong is not enough. God is not an inspector looking for one who has not paid the ticket. He is a Father looking for children to whom He can entrust His assets and his projects. It is sad when the Father of love does not receive a generous response of love from His children, who limit themselves to respecting the rules and following the commandments, like hired servants in the house of the Father."

The pope recalled that the poorest suffer the consequences of omissions and indifference. He asked for courage to come out of a self-centered mentality, centered only on one's own well-being.

After the homily, the homeless returned as the protagonists during the Mass, and a needy family brought up the offerings.

Later, Pope Francis blessed the bread that was later used during lunch for the homeless. It is the same bread that a charity usually distributes to the poor.

At the end of the Mass, the poor who were present moved to several areas throughout the Eternal City where they were invited to eat. Among them, 1,500 had lunch in the Vatican, with the pope.