Nov. 17 (UPI) -- Pope Francis said Sunday that the greed of a small number of wealthy people increases the hardships of the poor during a Mass on World Day of the Poor.
Speaking about increasing awareness of poor people throughout the world at St. Peter's Basilica, Pope Francis decried the lack of attention to a growing income gap between the rich and the poor.
"We go our way in haste, without worrying that gaps are increasing, that the greed of a few is adding to the poverty of many others," he said.
During his homily, Pope Francis said that the poor are valuable in the eyes of God because they "do not speak the language of the self."
"The poor remind us how we should live the Gospel, like beggars reaching out to God," he added. "Instead of feeling annoyed when they knock on our doors let us welcome their cry for help as a summons to go out of ourselves, to welcome them with God's own loving gaze."
Pope Francis established World Day of the Poor in his Apostolic Letter in 2017 to celebrate the end of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy.
After speaking on Sunday, the pope also invited hundreds of people in need to dine with him in the Vatican hall.