Posted October 07, 2013 in The Pope's Corner:
The Culture of Encounter

by Pope Francis.

Unfortunately, in many places, generally, in this economic humanism that prevails in the world, the culture of exclusion, of rejection, is spreading. There is no place for the elderly or for the unwanted child; there is no time for that poor person on the edge of the street. At times, it seems that for some people, human relations are regulated by two modern "dogmas": efficiency and pragmatism.

Dear brothers and sisters, have the courage to go against the tide. Let us not reject this gift of God which is the one family of his children. Encountering and welcoming everyone, solidarity: this is a word that in this culture is being hidden away, as if it was a swear word. Solidarity and fraternity: these are what make our society truly human.

Be servants of communion and of the culture of encounter! Permit me to say that we must be almost obsessive in this matter.

We do not want to be presumptuous, imposing "our truths". What must guide us is the humble yet joyful certainty of those who have been found, touched, and transformed by the Truth who is Christ, ever to be proclaimed (cf. Lk 24:13-35).

Dear brothers and sisters, we are called by God, called to proclaim the Gospel and called to promote with courage the culture of encounter.

May the Virgin Mary be our exemplar. In her life, she was "a model of that motherly love with which all who join in the Church’s apostolic mission for the regeneration of humanity should be animated" (Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, 65).

Let us ask her to teach us to meet Jesus every day. Let us ask her to encourage us to go out to meet our many brothers and sisters who are on the edges and are thirsty for God but do not have anyone to announce him. Let us ask her not to throw us out of home, but to encourage us to leave home. In this way we will be disciples of the Lord.

Excerpted from the homily of Pope Francis to the clergy, religious, and seminarians at the Cathedral of Sao Sebastiao, Rio de Janiero, Brazil during World Youth Day, July 27, 2013


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