APOSTOLIC JOURNEY OF HIS HOLINESS FRANCIS
IN MOZAMBIQUE, MADAGASCAR AND MAURIZIO
(4 - 10 September 2019)
VISIT TO THE HOSPITAL OF ZIMPETO
GREETING OF THE HOLY FATHER
Friday, 6 September 2019
Dear brothers and sisters!
Thank you very much for the warm and fraternal welcome, and also for the words of Cacilda. Thank you for your life and your testimony, an expression that this multi-purpose health center "Sant Egidio" of Zimpeto is a manifestation of God's love, always ready to blow life and hope where death and suffering abound.
I cordially greet the authorities, health workers, the sick with their families and everyone present. In seeing how much competence, professionalism and love you take care of and welcome so many sick, concretely people with AIDS / HIV, especially women and children, I am reminded of the parable of the Good Samaritan.
All those who have passed by here, all those who arrive caught in despair and anguish resemble that man abandoned by the roadside. And you, here, did not pass by at a distance, you did not continue on your way as others had done (the Levite and the priest). This Center shows us that there were those who stopped and felt compassion, those who did not succumb to the temptation to say "there is nothing to do", "it is impossible to fight this scourge" and he has been busy with courage to look for solutions. You, as Cacilda said, have listened to the silent, almost imperceptible cry of so many women, of so many people who lived in shame, marginalized, judged by everyone. That is why you have expanded this home - where the Lord lives with those at the side of the road - to cancer patients, tuberculosis patients and hundreds of malnourished people, especially children and young people.
Thus all the people who, at various levels, are part of this health community become an expression of the Heart of Jesus, so that no one thinks "that their cry has fallen on deaf ears. [...] [They are] a sign of sharing for those in need, to feel the active presence of a brother and sister. It is not an act of delegation what the poor need, but the personal involvement of those who hear their cry. The solicitude of believers cannot be limited to a form of assistance - although necessary and providential at first - but requires that attention of love that honors the other as a person and seeks his good "(Message for the Second Day World of the Poor, November 18, 2018, No. 3). Listening to this cry led you to understand that medical treatment, although necessary, was not enough; therefore you have considered the problem in its entirety to restore dignity to women and children, helping them to plan a better future.
In this immense field, which has opened up before you thanks to continuous listening, you have also experienced your limit: the lack of any kind of means. The program, which you have developed and connected with other places in the world, is an example of humility for recognizing your limits, and creativity for networking. The free and voluntary commitment of many people from different professions who have provided their precious collaboration to train local operators, contains in itself an enormous human and evangelical value.
At the same time it is wonderful to see how this listening to the weakest of the poor, the sick, puts us in touch with another fragile part of the world: I think of the "symptoms of illness that we feel in the soil, in the water, in the air and in living things. For this reason, among the poorest and most abused poor, there is our oppressed and devastated land, which "groans and suffers the pains of childbirth" (Rom 8:22) "(Enc. Laudato si ', 2). As the makonde art sculptures teach us - the so-called ujamaa with various figures clinging to each other in which unity and solidarity over the individual prevail -, we must realize that we are all part of the same trunk. You have been able to understand it and this listening has led you to seek sustainable means in the search for energy, as well as in the collection and reserve of water; your low environmental impact options are a virtuous model, an example to follow given the urgency imposed by the deterioration of the planet.
The text of the Good Samaritan ends with the wounded accompanied to the inn, part of the payment given to the innkeeper and the promise of the remainder on his return. Women like Cacilda, the one hundred thousand children who can write a new page of history free from HIV / AIDS and many other anonymous people who today smile because they have been treated with dignity in their dignity, are part of the payment that the Lord has left for you : Presences-gift, which, leaving the nightmare of the disease, without hiding their condition, transmit hope to many people; with that "I dream" they infect many who need to be picked up by the roadside. The other part will be paid to you by the Lord "when He returns", and this must fill you with joy: when we leave, when you return to your daily tasks, when no one will applaud you or praise you, continue to welcome those who come, go to look for the wounded and the defeated in the suburbs ... Let us not forget that their names, written in the sky, have an inscription beside them: these are the blessed of my Father. Renew your efforts, so that here we can continue to "give birth" to hope. Here hope is born.
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