Pope Francis is insisting with his unwavering call to global solidarity, pleading “we are either all saved together or no one is saved”.
– “Poverty, decadence and suffering in one part of the earth are a breeding ground for problems that will end up affecting the entire planet”
This Saturday October 17 the pontiff took to Twitter to repeat what has been the leitmotif of his thought and preaching especially since the special Urbi et orbi blessing of the world that he carried out at the height of the coronavirus pandemic: that we are all in this crisis together – all of us “in the same boat” – “all of us fragile and disoriented, but at the same time important and needed; all of us called to row together, each of us in need of comforting the other”.
“We need to develop the awareness that nowadays we are either all saved together or no one is saved”, the Pope wrote on Twitter yesterday. “#Poverty, decadence and suffering in one part of the earth are a breeding ground for problems that will end up affecting the entire planet. #FratelliTutti #EndPoverty“.
The #EndPoverty hashtag was an allusion to the fact that Saturday was the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.
Also on Twitter, this October 18 the Pope also referred to the initiative of the pontifical foundation Aid to the Church in Need, which today and tomorrow is bringing together a million children all around the world to pray the rosary for unity and peace.
Lastly, the Pope also referred to the fact that today is also World Mission Sunday, a day which the Church sets aside every year to renew its commitment to evangelisation even in the world’s most remote places.
“The mission, the ‘Church on the move’, is not a programme to be carried out by sheer force of will. It is Christ who makes the Church go out of herself. In the mission of evangelization, you move because the Holy Spirit pushes you, and carries you. #WorldMissionDay“, Francis encouraged the Church with respect to its mission.
Also on the Church’s missionary mandate, the Pope added in another tweet: “Belonging to Christ, and the resulting way of life, do not isolate the believer from the world, but rather make him or her the protagonist in a service of love for the common good”.
– At the Angelus: Catholics called to build up temporal society in “love, justice and fraternity”
In the meantime, at the Angelus today the pontiff encouraged Catholics to contribute with “humility” and “courage” towards making temporal society a “civilisation of love, where justice and fraternity reign”.
Encouragement to Catholics “to be honest and constructive citizens”
Full text of the Pope’s catechesis
Dear brothers and sisters, good day!
This Sunday’s Gospel reading (see Mt 22:15-21) shows us Jesus struggling with the hypocrisy of His adversaries. They pay Him many compliments – at the beginning, many compliments – but then ask an insidious question to put Him in trouble and discredit Him before the people.
They ask him: “Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” (v. 17), that is, to pay their taxes to the emperor. At that time, in Palestine, the domination of the Roman Empire was poorly tolerated – and it is understandable, they were invaders – also for religious reasons. For the people, the worship of the emperor, underscored also by his image on coins, was an insult to the God of Israel.
Jesus’ interlocutors are convinced that there is no alternative to their questioning: either a “yes” or a “no”. They were waiting, precisely because they were sure to back Jesus into a corner with this question, and to make Him fall in the trap.
But He knows their wickedness and avoids the pitfall. He asks them to show Him the coin, the coin of the taxes, takes it in His hands and asks whose is the imprinted image. They answer that it is Caesar’s, that is, the Emperor’s. Then Jesus replies: “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s” (v. 21).
With this reply, Jesus places Himself above the controversy. Jesus, always above.
On the one hand, He acknowledges that the tribute to Caesar must be paid – for all of us too, taxes must be paid – because the image on the coin is his; but above all He recalls that each person carries within him another image – we carry it in the heart, in the soul – that of God, and therefore it is to Him, and to Him alone, that each person owes his own existence, her own life.
In this sentence of Jesus we find not only the criterion for the distinction between the political sphere and the religious sphere; clear guidelines emerge for the mission of all believers of all times, even for us today.
To pay taxes is a duty of citizens, as is complying with the just laws of the state. At the same time, it is necessary to affirm God’s primacy in human life and in history, respecting God’s right over all that belongs to Him.
Hence the mission of the Church and Christians: to speak of God and bear witness to Him to the men and women of our time.
Every one of us, by Baptism, is called to be a living presence in society, inspiring it with the Gospel and with the lifeblood of the Holy Spirit. It is a question of committing oneself with humility, and at the same time with courage, making one’s own contribution to building the civilisation of love, where justice and fraternity reign.
May Mary Most Holy help us all to flee from all hypocrisy and to be honest and constructive citizens. And may she sustain us disciples of Christ in the mission to bear witness that God is the centre and the meaning of life.
Prayers for “peace, stability and unity” in Libya
Full text of the Pope’s greeting
Dear brothers and sisters!
Today we celebrate World Mission Day, which has the theme “Here I am, send me. Weavers of fraternity”. It is beautiful, this word “weavers”: every Christian is called to be a weaver of fraternity. Missionaries and missionaries – priests, consecrated men and women, and lay people – , who sow the Gospel in the great field of the world, are especially so.
Let us pray for them and give them our practical support. In this context I would like to thank God for the long -awaited liberation of Father Pier Luigi Maccalli… – we greet him with this applause! – who was kidnapped two years ago in Niger. We also rejoice because three other hostages were released with him.
We continue to pray for the missionaries and catechists and also for those who are persecuted or kidnapped in various parts of the world.
I wish to address a word of encouragement and support to the fishermen who have been held in Libya for more than a month, and to their families. Entrusting them to Mary Star of the Sea, may they keep alive the hope to be able to embrace their loved ones again soon.
I pray also for the various discussions in progress at an international level, that they may be relevant for the future of Libya.
Brothers and sisters, the time has come to stop every form of hostility, promoting the dialogue that leads to peace, to stability and to the unity of the country. Let us pray together for the fisherman and for Libya, in silence.
I greet you all, Romans and pilgrims from various countries. In particular, I greet and bless with affection the Peruvian community of Rome, gathered here with the venerated image of the Señor de los Milagros. A round of applause for the Peruvian community! I also greet the volunteers of the Italian Body for the Protection of Animals and Legality.
And I wish you all a blessed Sunday. Please, do not forget to pray for me. Have a good lunch, and arrivederci!