The third World Day of the Poor began with the pope celebrating this Mass in St. Peter's Basilica.
Hundreds of homeless and people in need accompanied him, listening attentively to the pope's warnings given in his homily. Pope Francis said unrestrained ambition is a perfect ingredient for a throwaway culture.
In the frenzy of running, of achieving everything right now, anyone left behind is viewed as a nuisance and considered disposable. We go our way in haste, without worrying that gaps are increasing, that the greed of a few is adding to the poverty of many others.
The pope lamented how many elderly, unborn and dependent people have suffered the consequences of this limitless greed.
Pope Francis also warned against alarmists whose ill-willed predictions spread fear and anxiety. He said these people produce the same result as the greedy: to move in a hurry and abandon the weak.
We must not follow the alarmists who fuel fear of others and of the future, for fear paralyzes the heart and mind. If we get worked up about the present, we forget what remains forever. We follow the passing clouds and lose sight of the sky.
Pope Francis instituted this day dedicated to people most in need. He chose to celebrate it at the end of the liturgical year, specifically to invite Christians to reflect on how they have helped the most vulnerable these past months.