Yangon (Myanmar). On November 15, 2020, the Auxilium Community of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians of Yangon in Myanmar, Mary Our Help of Cambodia/Myanmar (CMY) Province, celebrated the World Day of the Poor by inviting the families of street vendors in the area to a meal.
“Stretch forth your hand to the poor” (Sir 7:32) is the title of the Message of Pope Francis for the 4th World Day of the Poor, in which Pope Francis invites Christian communities to allow themselves to be provoked by the presence of people in need: “The encounter with persons in a condition of poverty provokes and questions us. How can we help eliminate or at least alleviate their marginalization and suffering? The Christian community is called to get involved in this sharing experience, in the awareness that it is not lawful to delegate it to others. And to be of support to the poor it is essential to live evangelical poverty in the first person. “Encountering the poor and those in need constantly challenges us and forces us to think. How can we help to eliminate or at least alleviate their marginalization and suffering? How can we help them in their spiritual need? The Christian community is called to be involved in this kind of sharing and to recognize that it cannot be delegated to others. In order to help the poor, we ourselves need to live the experience of evangelical poverty.”
The FMA of the Community questioned and committed themselves, consuming a poor dinner for more than a month, to offer a complete meal to the families of the sellers who ‘outside their door’, at the intersections of the streets of the neighborhood, daily sell flowers, fruit, eggs, protective masks, and other products, and in the evening return to the slums of Yangon.
On November 15, with the help of the girls, the sisters cooked rice with chicken, vegetables, and appetizers for 45 families – about 75 people – welcomed in the courtyard of the house and divided into three shifts, to respect the health regulations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the end of the meal, thanks to the help received from the German Embassy in Yangon, the FMA distributed food packages containing rice, oil, salt, beans, canned fish, and other foodstuffs, as well as soap, hand sanitizing gel, and vitamin C.
The Community experienced the joy of fraternity during this time of the pandemic, “Even a smile that we can share with the poor is a source of love and a way of spreading love. An outstretched hand, then, can always be enriched by the smile of those who quietly and unassumingly offer to help, inspired only by the joy of living as one of Christ’s disciples. (Message for the 4th World Day of the Poor)