In the heart of our faith lies a call to love and serve our neighbours, especially those in need. Clothing Poverty Awareness Week is an opportunity for us to reflect deeply on how we can live out this call in a world where so many lack even the basic necessities, including adequate clothing.

In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus tells us plainly, “I was naked and you clothed me” (Matthew 25:36). This powerful message is a reminder that our acts of charity are not just good deeds but are expressions of our love for Christ Himself. When we provide clothing to those who are in need, we are responding to a direct call from our Lord to care for the most vulnerable among us.

The Catholic Church teaches that every person has a right to the basic necessities of life, including adequate clothing. This right is rooted in the inherent dignity of the person, made in the image and likeness of God. When individuals are deprived of this basic right, their dignity is undermined, and their ability to participate fully in society is compromised.

Clothing poverty is a global issue. In many parts of the world, people live with very few garments, often inadequate for the climate and conditions they face. This lack of clothing can prevent children from attending school, adults from finding employment, and families from maintaining their health and dignity. As Catholics, our solidarity extends beyond our local communities to our brothers and sisters around the globe. We are called to advocate for fair wages and just working conditions for those who produce our clothing, recognising the interconnectedness of our world.

As we engage in these actions, let us also keep this issue in our prayers. Pray for those who are struggling without adequate clothing, for the workers who produce our garments, and for a more just and equitable world. Let us ask God to open our hearts to the needs of others and to give us the courage and generosity to respond.

Clothing Poverty Awareness Week is a chance for us to live out our faith in a tangible way. By providing clothing to those in need, advocating for just practices in the garment industry, and educating our communities, we can make a significant difference. Let us remember the words of St John Chrysostom: “Not to share our own wealth with the poor is theft from the poor and deprivation of their means of life; we do not possess our own wealth, but theirs.” In this spirit, let us act with compassion and justice, clothing our brothers and sisters with the love of Christ.

May our efforts bring warmth, dignity and hope to those who need to most, and may we grow in our commitment to living out the Gospel call to love and serve one another.