Saturday, November 21, 2020

Pope Francis Suggests to "...open your heart to everyone without distinction, for the love of God..." FULL TEXT



ADDRESS OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS
TO THE COMMUNITY OF THE PONTIFICAL PIO-LATIN AMERICAN COLLEGE OF ROME

Sala Clementina
Friday, November 20, 2020
 

Dear brothers and sisters.

My greetings to the whole community of the College. I thank Father Gilberto Freire, SJ, for the words he addressed to me on behalf of those present. In them he shows me difficulties, problems, challenges of the present time. Especially for you on this journey of remaining faithful to your vocation and seeking ways to serve you better. 

Although history has separated our peoples, it has not been able to destroy in them the roots that unite them. On this basis, the Pio Latinoamericano College was born as a commitment to unite all our particular Churches and at the same time to open them to the universal Church in Rome and from Rome.

This experience of communion and openness is a calling, since the example of the hybridization that made America great, and which is lived in the plural community that you form, can in turn help to heal the world. The Gospel and its message came to our land by human means, not exempt from sin, we all know it, but grace overlapped our weakness and his Word spread to every corner of the continent. Peoples and cultures welcomed it in a rich diversity of forms that we can still contemplate today and which teaches us not to be afraid of diversity, indeed, to understand that one cannot be a Church without diversity of peoples. This miracle occurred because both those who came and those who welcomed them were able to open their hearts and did not close themselves to what the other could offer, on a human, cultural or religious level. These mestizo roots - I told you about mestizo last time - these mestizo roots come from a heart capable of loving the other with a love that is fruitful, that is, willing to create something new that surpasses and transcends him. And this presupposes that one refuses one's self-referentiality. Nowadays, not only in America, but in the world, it is self-referential nationalisms that are closed in on themselves and look to themselves that prevent the fraternal encounter between peoples. We are asked to refuse self-referentiality and, starting from our own identity, to be able to spread the gift received. And this seed of the kingdom, do not doubt, will grow and give one hundred for one, not of grains all the same, but of an unexpected variety and richness. These mestizo roots - I told you about mestizo last time - these mestizo roots come from a heart capable of loving the other with a love that is fruitful, that is, willing to create something new that surpasses and transcends him. And this presupposes that one refuses one's self-referentiality. Nowadays, not only in America, but in the world, it is self-referential nationalisms that are closed in on themselves and look to themselves that prevent the fraternal encounter between peoples. We are asked to refuse self-referentiality and, starting from our own identity, to be able to spread the gift received. And this seed of the kingdom, do not doubt, will grow and give one hundred for one, not of grains all the same, but of an unexpected variety and richness. These mestizo roots - I told you about mestizo last time - these mestizo roots come from a heart capable of loving the other with a love that is fruitful, that is, willing to create something new that surpasses and transcends him. And this presupposes that one refuses one's self-referentiality. Nowadays, not only in America, but in the world, it is self-referential nationalisms that are closed in on themselves and look to themselves that prevent the fraternal encounter between peoples. We are asked to refuse self-referentiality and, starting from our own identity, to be able to spread the gift received. And this seed of the kingdom, do not doubt, will grow and give one hundred for one, not of grains all the same, but of an unexpected variety and richness. And this presupposes that one refuses one's self-referentiality. Nowadays, not only in America, but in the world, it is self-referential nationalisms that are closed in on themselves and look to themselves that prevent the fraternal encounter between peoples. We are asked to refuse self-referentiality and, starting from our own identity, to be able to spread the gift received. And this seed of the kingdom, do not doubt, will grow and give one hundred for one, not of grains all the same, but of an unexpected variety and richness. And this presupposes that one refuses one's self-referentiality. Nowadays, not only in America, but in the world, it is self-referential nationalisms that are closed in on themselves and look to themselves that prevent the fraternal encounter between peoples. We are asked to refuse self-referentiality and, starting from our own identity, to be able to spread the gift received. And this seed of the kingdom, do not doubt, will grow and give a hundred for one, not of grains all the same, but of an unexpected variety and richness. 

Currently there are Latin Americans scattered all over the world and many Christian communities have benefited from this reality. Churches of northern and central Europe, even of the East, which have found a new vitality in them. Many cities, from Madrid to Kobe, fervently celebrate the Christ of Miracles and the same can be said of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The rich cultural mix that made evangelization possible is being produced again today. The Latin peoples meet each other and with other peoples thanks to social mobility and communication services, and from this encounter they too come out enriched.

At this time, in this field, you are called to sow the Word, generously, without prejudice, as God sows, who does not look at the hardness of the earth, nor at the presence of stones or thistles, who does not uproot the weeds, so as not to tear away the good seed of the kingdom with it. And your formation and your ministry must affect this, to open the door of your heart and the hearts of those who listen to you, to lend a hand and invite others to do it with you for the good of all, to heal this world. from the great evil that afflicts it and that the pandemic has so crudely highlighted. As you can see, there are three concrete points of action that have two moments: personal and community, which inevitably complement each other.

Open the door of heart and hearts. Certainly opening our hearts to the Lord who never stops knocking on our door, to abide in us. But open it also to the brother, because do not forget that our relationship with God can be easily evaluated by how we project ourselves towards our neighbor. When you open your heart to everyone without distinction, for the love of God, you create a space where God and neighbor can meet. Never stop showing this availability, this openness: never close the door to those who in the depth of their hearts want to be able to enter and feel welcomed. Think that it is the Lord who calls you under the garb of that poor man, to sit down together at his banquet. And I leave you a question: where is the poor in my life? Did I forget where I'm from?

The second line is to lend a hand and invite others to do so. The Lord calls us to the priestly vocation, he has sent you to this city of Rome to complete your formation, because he always presents this project of love and service for each of you. Pastors according to the heart of God, pastors who dedicate themselves to the care of the faithful, who graze, shepherds who are not afraid of the flock, who guide, who care, who always try to advance their people, shepherds who have the courage to stay in front, in the middle and behind the flock. Front to guide at the appropriate time, in the middle to smell the sheep and behind to take care of those who remain behind, and also to let the flock go alone at certain times, because the flock has a sense of smell to find good pastures, and also drive from behind. Surely, in the memory of each of you, there are infinite initiatives, and I have no doubt that by working hard you can do very well and will help many people, but our mission would not be perfect if we limited ourselves to this. Our effort must also be a call, it must gather the flock, make it feel like a people, also called to set out and commit to anticipating the kingdom, already here in this land. And this implies that they feel useful, responsible, necessary, that there is a space where they too can lend a hand. Fight against the throwaway culture, and please do not provoke it with a clericalism that causes so much damage and is a disease, fight against social segregation, fight against distrust and prejudice for reasons of race, culture or faith,

And thirdly, to cure the world of the great evil that afflicts it. The pandemic has placed us in front of the great evil that afflicts our society, it has stripped it away, we can touch it firsthand. Globalization has crossed borders, but not minds and hearts. The virus spreads without brakes, we are unable to give a joint answer. The world continues to close its doors, refusing dialogue and refusing collaboration, it refuses to open itself with sincerity to the common commitment for a good that reaches everyone without distinction, this is the spirit of the world, so it moves, this is how it operates. The cure for this disease must come from below, from the hearts and souls that will one day be entrusted to you, and must come with concrete proposals in the field of education, catechesis, social commitment, with proposals that are capable of changing mentality and opening up spaces to cure this disease and give God a united people. I repeat this figure, globalization yes, but not a sphere, the sphere is uniformity. Globalization yes, but polyhedron, where each people, each one, retains its own particularity.

And I ask the Virgin Mother, the Virgin of Guadalupe, Patroness of Latin America, to support your hope in this course which now opens in the midst of human uncertainties, so that you can follow God's call where the Lord will call you, he will send and may you be witnesses of the human fraternity that comes from the one source, being children of God. May the Lord bless you and the Virgin keep you. And please don't forget to pray for me. Thanks.


from L'Osservatore Romano , Year CLX, num. 270, 22/11/2020

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