Pope Francis quickly left his address to Congress in order to address Washington’s Catholic Charities center Thursday, where he stayed for lunch.
He also preached a short sermon to the homeless at the downtown parish of St. Patrick, the oldest Catholic church in the District. His emphasis was on Jesus’ own experience of poverty and the importance of faith to the man who raised him, St. Joseph. (RELATED: Pope Francis: Preaching Jesus Means Fearlessly ‘Moving Forward’)
“We can imagine what Joseph must have been thinking” when Mary was about to give birth to Jesus, Francis said. “How is it that the Son of God has no home? Why are we homeless, why don’t we have housing?”
In other words, “the Son of God knew what it was to start life without a roof over his head.” (RELATED: 5 Uncomfortable Truths Pope Francis Pushed On Congress)
Francis underscored the power of faith in Joseph’s life — faith which he urged his homeless brethren to emulate. “In the face of unjust and painful situations, faith brings us the light which scatters the darkness.”
Ultimately, the pope said, faith is strengthened through prayer, where “our hearts find the strength not to be cold and insensitive in the face of injustice.” He then asked the assembled faithful to pray together with him in Spanish and English — and implored them to pray for him too. (RELATED: Pope Francis Met Little Sisters Of The Poor In Quiet Protest Of Obamacare)
Thursday is Francis’ last day in Washington, the first city he is visiting on his first-ever trip to the U.S. He will make appearances in New York Thursday evening and Friday, after which he will spend the weekend in Philadelphia at a conference in support of traditional marriage and the protection of unborn life.
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