VIDEO MESSAGE FROM HOLY FATHER FRANCIS
ON THE OCCASION OF THE 58 GENERAL ASSEMBLY
OF THE NATIONAL CONFERENCE OF BISHOPS OF BRAZIL
Dear Brothers in the Episcopate,
On the occasion of the 58th General Assembly of the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil, I want to address you, and forgive me for doing it in Spanish, but between Brazil and Argentina there is a language that we all understand and that is "Portuñol", as well that you will understand me.
And through you I want to address all Brazilians, at a time when this beloved country faces one of the most difficult tests in its history.
I would like, first of all, to express my closeness to the hundreds of thousands of families who mourn the loss of a loved one. Young and old, fathers and mothers, doctors and volunteers, holy ministers, rich and poor: the pandemic has excluded no one in its wake of suffering. I am thinking in particular of the Bishops who died victims of the Covid. I ask God to grant eternal rest to the deceased and to give comfort to the afflicted hearts of relatives, who many times have not even been able to say goodbye to their loved ones. And this leaving without being able to say goodbye, this leaving in the most deprived solitude is one of the very great pains of those who leave and those who remain.
Dear brothers and sisters, the proclamation of the victory of the Lord Jesus over death and sin still resonates among us. The Easter announcement is an announcement that renews hope in our hearts: we cannot give up! As we sing in the Easter Sunday Sequence: "Life and death fought in a singular battle / and when life is dead, he rises triumphant." Yes, dear brothers, the one who has succeeded is by our side! Christ has conquered! He has conquered death! Let us renew the hope that life will triumph!
Our faith in the risen Christ shows us that we can get through this tragic moment. Our hope gives us the courage to get up. Charity urges us to cry with those who cry and to give a hand, especially to those most in need, so that they smile again. And charity urges us as bishops to strip ourselves. Don't be afraid of him when you put off. Everyone knows of what. It is possible to overcome the pandemic, it is possible to overcome its consequences. But we will only succeed if we are united. The Episcopal Conference must be one at this time, because the people who suffer are one.
During my unforgettable visit to Brazil in the 13th, when referring to the story of Our Lady of Aparecida , I commented that this image that was found broken could serve as a symbol of the Brazilian reality: «What was separated regains unity. […] In Aparecida, from the beginning, God gives us a message of recomposing what is separated, of reuniting what is divided. The walls, ravines and distances, which also exist today, are destined to disappear. The Church cannot neglect this lesson: the Church must be an instrument of reconciliation »( Address to the Brazilian Episcopate , July 27, 2013).
And be an instrument of reconciliation, be an instrument of unity. And this is the mission of the Church in Brazil. Today more than ever! And for this, it is necessary to put aside the divisions, disagreements. It is necessary to find ourselves in the essential. With Christ, through Christ and in Christ, in order to be able to rediscover "the unity of the Spirit with the bond of peace" ( Eph.4.3). Only in this way will you, as Pastors of the People of God, inspire not only the Catholic faithful, but also other Christians, and other men and women of good will, at all levels of society, including at the institutional and governmental level. , may inspire us to work together to overcome not only the coronavirus, but also another virus, which has long infected humanity: the virus of indifference, which is born out of selfishness and generates social injustice.
Dear brothers, the challenge is great. However, we know that the Lord walks with us: "And know that I am with you every day until the end of the world" ( Mt 28,20), He tells us. Therefore, in the certainty that "we do not gave a spirit of timidity, but of strength, charity and temperance "( 2 Tim 1,7)," let us shake off all ballast and sin that beset us, and continue running with perseverance the race undertaken: fixing our eyes on Jesus "(cf. . Hb 12 : 1-2). Always Jesus! There is our base, our strength, our unity.
I ask the risen Lord that this General Assembly bear fruits of unity and reconciliation for all the Brazilian people, and in the Episcopal Conference. Unity that is not uniformity, but that is harmony, that harmonic unity that only the Holy Spirit gives. I implore Our Lady of Aparecida that she, as Mother, grant all her children the grace of being custodians of the good and the lives of others, and promoters of fraternity.
To each one of you, dear brothers, brother Bishops, to the faithful who have been entrusted to you and to all the inhabitants of Brazil, I warmly give my blessing. And please, I ask you not to forget to pray for me. The Lord bless you.
FULL TEXT Source: Vatican.va - Image Screenshot