By Adolf Washington
Bengaluru, Dec. 22, 2018: Archbishop Peter Machado of Bangalore has urged his priests to hear the voice of the poor and feel their pain “in our hearts.”
The prelate made the appeal on December 19 at the annual Christmas fellowship for the priests of the diocese at the Archbishop’s House. More than 200 priests attended the program.
“Christmas is always a time to re-focus our attention who are less privileged,” said Archbishop Machado, who took over the reins of the Bangalore archdiocese on May 31 this year.
He repeated what he has been saying at the public platforms since coming to Bengaluru: “Our love for the poor and less-privileged and marginalized and the voiceless will bring us to receive God’s blessings. No poor should feel that they are not loved by God.”
He reiterated that people of all religions, with a heart filled will love, will “share, care and comfort those who need to feel they are not discounted by God.”
The archbishop also called for greater concern for those who became homeless because of natural calamities. He called for steps to rehabilitate “as much as we can” to help those in distress.
The prelate has repeatedly called for avoiding lavish spending on religious celebrations and saving money for the poor instead.
“Jesus Christ was born among the poor and helpless in a stable in Bethlehem indicating that he chose to identify with the poor,” he said in his Christmas message.
The archbishop released the annual report of the activities of the Bangalore Multi-purpose Social Society on the various social outreach activities.
The archdiocese has already raised more than 10 million rupees for flood victims at Kodagu and looks forward to rehabilitate victims, especially the homeless.
At a recent meeting, the archbishop urged his people not to see religion as a barrier to help people in times of calamity and suffering. He had visited the flood-ravaged Kodagu immediately after the disaster.