07/31/2011, 00.00
VATICAN

Pope: Jesus is asking us to do everything possible for suffering in the Horn of Africa

At the Angelus, Benedict XVI reflects on the Gospel passage of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes. Christ is attentive to material needs, but he wants to gift us more, because man is always hungry for something more, he needs something more".
Castel Gandolfo (AsiaNews) – Benedict XVI today appealed for solidarity for those in the Horn of Africa who are "suffering the dramatic consequences of famine, exacerbated by war and the lack of solid institutions”. Addressing three thousand people in the courtyard of the Apostolic Palace of Castel Gandolfo, he commented on the Gospel passage of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes. "Jesus - he added in French – confronts us with our responsibility: to do everything in our power to bring assistance to those who suffer from hunger and thirst."

In the Gospel, the Pope said, "the incarnation of God and the work of redemption are intertwined. In fact, Jesus '' ‘disembarks’ from the boat to meet men (cf. Mt 14:14). St. Maximus the Confessor says that the Word of God ‘became flesh for our sake, derived from us and conformed to us in everything except sin, in order to expose us to his teaching with words and examples suitable for us' (Ambiguum 33: PG 91, 1285 C). Here the Lord gives us a good example of his compassion for people. Our many brothers and sisters in the Horn of Africa come to mind, who are suffering the dramatic consequences of famine, exacerbated by war and the lack of solid institutions. Christ is attentive to material needs, but wants to give more, because man is always 'hungry for something more, he needs something more ' (Jesus of Nazareth, Milan 2007, 311). In the bread of Christ, the love of God is present, in our encounter with Him, we nourish ourselves, so to speak, with the same living God himself, we truly eat the "bread from heaven"' (ibid.). "

"In the Eucharist - continued Benedict XVI - Jesus also makes us witnesses of God's compassion for every brother and sister. The Eucharistic mystery thus gives rise to the service of charity toward our neighbor (Post-synod Apostolic Exhortation. Sacramentum caritatis, 88). St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus, who the Church remembers today also bore witness to this. Ignatius chose, in fact, to live "looking for God in all things, loving Him in all creatures" (cf. Constitutions of the Society of Jesus, III, 1, 26). We entrust our prayer to the Virgin Mary-concluded the Pope - in order to open our hearts to compassion for others and fraternal sharing."
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