Pope Francis latest move has been praised by many after he chose to decline the invitation to sit with the politicians from the U.S. Senate. Instead the pope decided to make his way to the streets of Washington D.C. to bless a meal for homeless clients of St. Maria’s Mealsa food program run by Catholic Charities in Washington, D.C Just before the meal, Francis drew a powerful comparison between the plight of the homeless and the Christmas story about Jesus’ birth in a stable. Pope Francis said: “The son of God knew what it was to be a homeless person,” Francis said, during a speech at nearby St. Patrick’s Catholic Church. “What it was to start life without a roof over his head.”
The Pope added: “I want to be very clear. We can’t find any social or moral justification, no justification whatsoever for lack of housing,” he continued. “We know that Jesus wanted to show solidarity with every person. He wanted everyone to experience his companionship, his help and his love. He identified with all those who suffer, who weep, who suffer any kind of injustice. He tells us this clearly, ‘I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.’”
The symbolic move has been seen as compelling evidence of Francis’ commitment to reach out to the margins and help the poor. The latest move follows his decision to open new shower facilities in St. Peter’s Square where people can get free haircuts and a shave. The Pope also has plans to build a new homeless shelter in Rome that can serve 30 people at a time.