(Posted July 2013)
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When you look at the picture of this little girl, what do you think about? Who or what comes to mind?
Today is the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. On this day, we give thanks for God’s abundant blessings and ask aid for those who are not as fortunate.
Poverty goes beyond the level of monetary wealth. When we talk about poverty, we are referring to those who are dying of starvation, suffering with curable illnesses and living on the streets. Poverty can also be spiritual—a lack of knowing love, care, concern and compassion.
Today, we take the opportunity to consider the millions of people who live in poverty around the globe. As their brothers and sisters, it is our responsibility to give voice to their suffering through action and prayer.
"How can it be that even today there are still people dying of hunger? Condemned to illiteracy? Lacking the most basic medical care? Without a roof over their heads?"
Let us pray … Gracious God, You give us so many blessings that many of us take for granted. Those who have never known hunger, homelessness, illiteracy or illness, cannot completely comprehend the horrors of poverty. We are grateful for the abundant gifts you have bestowed upon us and ask for the opportunity and wisdom to share these blessings with those most in need — in our own country and among all of your children.
Around the world, millions of your people are forced to live without the basic necessities for a healthy life. Look over all those who are hungry, give them strength to get through each day and bless them with those things needed for human flourishing. Watch over all those who lack education, give them the means to learn skills that will be the avenue for fruitful work. Protect those who suffer from curable and manageable illnesses, give them the courage to fight through illness and bring them the blessing of health. Comfort all those who are without a home, shield them from the harmful elements and bring them to a place of shelter. And bless all those whose poverty goes unseen. Give us the eyes to see where we can assist and the minds to find ways to end poverty for good. Amen.
The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty has been observed every year since 1993, when the UN General Assembly, by resolution 47/196, designated this day to promote awareness of the need to eradicate poverty and destitution in all countries.