Jordan: Fr. Dr. Rif’at Bader stresses the need to help the poor

Submitted by munir on Thu, 03/21/2024 - 10:26

Director of the Catholic Center for Studies and Media (CCSM) in Jordan Fr. Dr. Rif’at Bader said that the current 40-day Lenten Season is classified by the Church to incorporate fasting, prayer, and charity.


In  an interview posted by Jordanian daily Al-Rai, he highlighted the importance of getting closer to God during this time, through intensifying prayers and participating in religious rites, while remembering that fasting is not just an act of deprivation, as it must be accompanied by considering the needs of others, especially the pained, the sick, the needy, and the poor.


He pointed out that the Lenten season, effective March 20 in Jordan, coincides with wars, hatred, destruction, killing, displacement, and starvation. He indicated that there is a need to provide aid to the needy and to the hungry more than any past year, especially in the afflicted Gaza Strip, where we have brethren who are suffering daily from the lack of basic commodities. He referred to Pope Francis' Lenten message this year which urges for praying, accepting the word of God, as well as helping the poor and the needy as the Good Samaritan did.


He noted that most Churches in Jordan are involved in activities relevant to charity as there is almost in every church a committee concerned with collecting money and food supplies for poor families, as some of whom are shy to express their needs. He said: “But the Church, along with its volunteers, takes note of the silent pain of the shy families, and offers them everything that people’s hearts and hands can offer at this holy period.”


He added, “Therefore, special boxes are placed in churches, with labels that read, “The great  virtues  are charity, love, service, and peace.” He stressed that this is an important educational aspect because we teach children the love of donation.


Fr. Bader pleaded with the Almighty God to keep the war machine silent at this holy time, during which the Muslims fast during the holy month of Ramadan, while the Christians fast marking the Lenten Season as both of them worship the one God, and jointly pray for peace and justice.


He concluded the interview by calling for peace to be restored, to have the pressures imposed on the afflicted people in Gaza eased, and to have aid reach them continuously  whether by airdrops led by the Jordanian Air Force, or by trucks carrying humanitarian relief, stressing that this is the essence of the holidays this year.

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By Munir Bayouk/