“It is a matter of speaking plainly and not turning away in the face of attacks on the value of human life from conception to its natural end, on the dignity of the human person; before social ills, and before the various forms of poverty.”
Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Pope Francis spoke today to the spiritual family of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus, focusing on three traits: the courage of truth; attention to all, especially those who are furthest away; and the ability to fascinate and communicate.
The pontiff noted that “Since the beginnings of Christianity, the mystery of the Blood of Christ has fascinated many people.” In fact, “The meditation of Christ’s sacrifice leads us to perform works of mercy, giving our life for God and for our brothers, without sparing. Meditation of the mystery of the Blood of Christ shed on the cross for our redemption drives us, in particular, towards those who could be cured from their moral and physical sufferings, and who instead are left to languish on the margins of a society of consumption and indifference. It is from this perspective that your service to the Church and to society becomes evident in all its importance. For my part, I suggest to you three aspects that may help you in your activity and in your witness: the courage of the truth, attention to all, especially to the most distant, and the ability to fascinate and to communicate.
“The courage of the truth. It is important to be brave people, build courageous communities that are not afraid to stand up to affirm the values of the Gospel and the truth about the world and man. It is a matter of speaking plainly and not turning away in the face of attacks on the value of human life from conception to its natural end, on the dignity of the human person; before social ills, and before the various forms of poverty. The witness of the disciples of Jesus is called to touch the lives of the parishes and neighbourhoods, not to leave indifferent but to affect, transforming people’s hearts and lives.”
“The second aspect is attention to all, especially to those who are distant. In your mission you are called to reach out to everyone, to make yourselves understand by all, to be “popular” by using a language through which everyone can understand the message of the Gospel. The recipients of the love and goodness of Jesus are all: neighbours, but above all those who are most distant. Therefore, we need to identify the most suitable ways of being able to bring together a multiplicity of people in homes, in social environments and on the street. To do this, you have before you the example of Jesus and of the disciples who walked the streets of Palestine announcing the Kingdom of God”.
“The third aspect that I suggest for your witness is the ability to fascinate and communicate. This is aimed especially at preaching and catechesis, the itineraries for a deeper understanding of the Word of God. It is a question of inspiring ever greater involvement in order to offer the contents of the Christian faith and to allow it to be savoured, encouraging new life in Christ. The Gospel and the Holy Spirit evoke words and gestures that enflame hearts and help them to open up to God and to others. For this ministry of the Word, we can draw inspiration from the attitude with which Jesus dialogued with people so as to reveal His mystery to all, to fascinate ordinary people with lofty and demanding teachings. The strength of this attitude is hidden in “the way Jesus looked at people, seeing beyond their weaknesses and failings: ‘Fear not little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom’ (Lk 12: 32)” (Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, 141). Imitating the style with which Jesus preached, He helps us to approach others by making them perceive God’s tenderness. I think we are living in a time in which it is necessary to bring about the revolution of tenderness.