Pope Francis says "We were "adopted" by the Father for Jesus: He made us enter into this relationship with the Father, with the awareness of being children..."
FULL TEXT ADDRESS OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS
TO THE MEMBERS OF THE "AGATA SMERALDA PROJECT"
The Agata Smeralda Association is a project that operates in the Brazilian favelas, and elsewhere in the world, and aims to help street children. There are at least 10,000 children in Brazil who are welcomed by missionaries and laypeople in 160 shelters located in Salvador di Bahia in the northeast of the country. (Vatican News excerpt)
Saturday 5th March 2022
Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!
I welcome all of you and I thank the President, Prof. Mauro Barsi, for the words with which he introduced our meeting. And I am happy that the Archbishop of Florence, Cardinal Giuseppe Betori, accompanied you. I know that your Association has a strong bond with the Florentine diocese, a bond that is not formal but of substance, of direct collaboration, "on the ground", especially in Salvador de Bahia. This is very good.
Recently, in one of the catecheses dedicated to Saint Joseph, I touched on the theme of the adoption of children. I commended and encouraged spouses who open their hearts and homes to welcome a child who has no family. Similarly, this sensitivity, this openness, this fatherhood and motherhood are also the basis of your commitment. In fact, those who choose to adopt a long distance adoption are motivated by the desire to lend a hand to a boy or girl so that he or she feels loved or loved, so that he does not lack what is necessary, so that he grows well ... Giving a hand means, in this chance, give the future.
Thank you so much, because you cooperate in spreading God's tenderness, his fatherhood, which is the great gift that Jesus has given us, throughout the world. Jesus did not only speak to us about the Father, no, he welcomed his own relationship with the Father into him. For this he took flesh and was born of Mary, for this he lived our human existence, for this he suffered, for this he died and rose again: all so that we, each one of us, can become children of the Father who is in heaven. And St. Paul says: "So that we might receive adoption as children" ( Gal 4: 5). We were "adopted" by the Father for Jesus: He made us enter into this relationship with the Father, with the awareness of being children of adoption. And this is what you do with others.
There is so much need for paternity and tenderness! "Tenderness" is a word thrown out, many times, from the dictionaries of everyday life. The real revolution in the world is made by those who work day by day, without making any noise, so that the little ones and the poor are no longer despised, discarded, abandoned, but can rise up and live according to their dignity as children of God. well prepared, well followed, well accompanied distance does just that. It is a small seed of the Kingdom of God, which grows and bears fruit as it is cultivated with love.
I have read that your active long distance adoptions to date are about seven thousand, involving many supporters and many lay people, nuns and priests who work in the peripheries of the world. I thank the Lord with you! And I appreciate the fact that you attribute all of this to his Providence. Yes, we are only collaborators of Providence. And this fills us with joy and gratitude.
Dear friends, I thank you for this meeting. Go forward, with the grace of God. I accompany you with my blessing, which I cordially give to you present here, to all those who share and support your work, and to all the boys and girls, the boys and girls who accompanied with adoptions. May Our Lady always protect you. And please don't forget to pray for me. Thank you!