Castel Gandolfo (AsiaNews) - According to the teachings of Jesus, our “neighbour” is anyone in need, especially "the most marginalised”. The lesson of the parable of the Good Samaritan was remembered today by the Pope during his first Angelus from Castel Gandolfo, where, as he said himself, he arrived on Wednesday afternoon, "for a few days of rest."
In fact, speaking to the residents of the Lazio village and pilgrims gathered in the courtyard of the Apostolic Palace as well as the square outside, the Pope reflected on "periods of leave and holidays". With a slight cough interrupting his discourse he told them to “take advantage of this period for rest and to strengthen the forces of body and spirit".
Taking his cue from today's Gospel of the Good Samaritan, before the recitation of the Marian prayer, Benedict XVI emphasised Jesus' answer to the lawyer who asks "Who is my neighbour?". "This time - continued the Pope - Jesus responds with the famous parable of the Good Samaritan (cf. Lk 10:30-37), indicating that we must be a ‘neighbour’ to all those who need help. The Samaritan, in fact, bears the status of a foreigner, whom the robbers have left half dead along the roadside, while a priest and a Levite had him passed by, perhaps thinking that contact with blood, would contaminate them as according to a precept. The parable, therefore, must inspire us to transform our thinking according to the logic of Christ, which is the logic of love: God is love, and worship means serving our brethren with sincere love and generosity. "
"This Gospel story – he said - offers us the standard which imposes universal love towards the needy whom we encounter “by chance” (cf. Lk 10:31), whoever they may be (Enc. Deus Caritas Est, 25). Without in any way detracting from this commandment of universal love, the Church also has a specific responsibility: within the ecclesial family no member should suffer through being in need. (ibid.). The Christian's programme learned from Jesus—is “a heart which sees”. This heart sees where love is needed and acts accordingly. (cf. v. 31).
Finally Benedict XVI also recalled that the Church commemorates Saint Benedict of Nursia, father and legislator of Western monasticism, "the great patron of my pontificate." "He, St. Gregory the Great narrates, 'was a man of holy life ... in name and in grace' (Dialogues, II, 1: Bibliotheca Gregory IV, Rome 2000, p. 136). 'He wrote a Rule for monks ... a mirror of teaching embodied in his person: in fact the saint could not teach in any way other than as he lived' (ibid., II, XXXVI: cit., P. 208). Pope Paul VI proclaimed St. Benedict Patron of Europe October 24, 1964, recognizing the wonderful work carried out for the formation of European civilization".
"We entrust to the Virgin Mary - he concluded - our journey of faith and, in particular, this holiday season, so that our hearts do not lose sight of the Word of God and our brothers in need."