01/15/2006, 00.00
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Pope: Overcome discrimination against migrants

Benedict XVI talked about the World Day for Migrants and Refugees and invited all to "welcome the positive" side of the migration phenomenon.The "ordinary time" of the liturgical year "is an invitation to live our ordinary life as an itinerary of holiness, that is, of faith and friendship in Jesus."

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - "Welcoming the positive" brought by current migration, "a sign of the times", overcoming "all manner of discrimination, injustice and scorn of the human being because each man is the image of God." Addressing 40,000 people present in St Peter's Square for the Angelus, Benedict XVI drew their attention to today's World Day for Migrants and Refugees, recalling the divine sonship shared by all, which he also used to explain the meaning of "ordinary time" in the liturgical year, which started last Sunday.

"The beauty of this time lies in the fact that it invites us to live our ordinary live as an itinerary of holiness, that is, of faith and friendship with Jesus, continually discovered and rediscovered as the Teacher and Lord, the Way, Truth and Life of man," he said. Taking his cue from today's Gospel, which described the first meeting between Jesus and some of the men who would become his apostles, the pope underlined the question Jesus put to them: "What are you searching for?" and then, the  "Come and see" reply which followed their query, "Master, where do you live?"

"Here are two particularly meaningful words," continued Benedict XVI. "'Seek' and 'find'. We can draw these two verbs from today's gospel page and extract crucial guidance for the new year, which we want to be a time in which to renew our spiritual journey with Jesus, in the joy of seeking and finding him incessantly. The truest joy, in fact, lies in the relationship with he who is met, followed, known, and loved, thanks to a continual tension between the mind and the heart. Being a disciple of Christ: this is enough for the Christian. The friendship with the Teacher assures the soul of deep peace and serenity in dark moments and in the most arduous trials. When faith comes up against dark nights, in which God's presence is no longer 'felt' or 'seen', the friendship of Jesus guarantees that in reality nothing can ever separate us from his love (cfr Rm 8:39). Seeking and finding Christ, the inexhaustible source of truth and life: the word of God invites us to take up again, at the start of the new year, this never-ending journey of faith. 'Teacher, where do you live?' we ask Jesus too, and he replies: 'Come and See'. This is an incessant search and new discovery for the believer because Christ is the same yesterday, today and always, but we, the world, history, are never the same, and He comes to us to give us his communion and fullness of life. We ask the Virgin Mary to help us to follow Jesus, savouring every day the joy of entering ever more into his mystery."

Benedict XVI talked about the day dedicated to migrants after the recital of the Marian prayer. "Migration is a widespread phenomenon in today's world: it is a 'sign of the times'. This phenomenon appears in many guises: migration can be voluntary or forced, legal or clandestine, arising from the motivation to find work or to study. If, on the one hand, the respect for ethnic and cultural diversity is upheld, there are difficulties in welcome and integration on the other. The Church invites all to welcome the positive which this sign of the times brings with it, winning over all forms of discrimination, injustice and scorn of the human being, because every man is the image of God."

Finally, taking his cue from today's celebration of the Day of Catholic schooling in the diocese of Rome, the pope had a particular greeting for the heads, teachers and past pupils of such schools. He exhorted them to "press ahead in the commitment for a holistic education which strives to unite quality of teaching and the Christian concept of man and society. I hope there will be constant collaboration between families and schools, as I do that the service guaranteed by Catholic schools may be fully recognised."

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