Pope Francis calls upon the nations of the world to welcome immigrants
'Being disciples of the Lamb means not living as if we were a
The issue of immigration and refugees is a very sensitive one in today's world. Political instability and bloodshed in such places such as Syria, Central African Republic and the Philippines have sent many people running for their lives into neighboring nations. This places an undue strain on these countries' resources, straining the host nations' mercy and charity. Pope Francis at this week's Angelus called upon the faithful to "replace prestige with service."
"This image of the lamb," Pope Francis said in his Angelus, "might surprise; an animal not known for its strength and robustness takes upon its shoulders an oppressive burden."
"What does it mean for the Church, for us, today, to be disciples of Jesus the Lamb of God?" Francis asked at St. Peter's Square. "It means replacing malice with innocence, force with love, pride with humility, prestige with service," he replied. "We Christians have to do a good job," Francis added.
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"Being disciples of the Lamb means not living as if we were a 'besieged citadel,' but as a city set on a mountain, open, welcoming and supportive. It means not assume an attitude of closure, but bringing the Gospel to all , bearing witness with our lives that following Jesus makes us freer and more joyful," Francis explained.
"The word 'lamb' comes up a number of times in the New Testament and always in reference to Jesus.
"This image of the lamb," Pope Francis said, "might surprise; an animal not known for its strength and robustness takes upon its shoulders an oppressive burden. The enormous mass of evil is removed and taken away by a weak and fragile creature that is a symbol of obedience, docility and helpless love, which arrives at a self- sacrifice. The lamb is not a dominator, but docile; it is not aggressive, but peaceful; it does not bear its claws or teeth in the face of attack but puts up with it and is submissive."
The Pope addressed migrants and refugees following the Angelus. "Today is the International Migrants Day, which this year has the theme " Migrants and refugees: Towards a better world," which the pontiff developed into a Message a few months ago.
"I extend a special greeting," Francis added, "to the representatives of various ethnic communities gathered here, in particular the Catholic community in Rome. Dear friends, you are close to the heart of the Church, because the Church is a people on a journey towards the Kingdom of God that Jesus Christ has brought into our midst. Do not lose hope for a better future!" the Pope told migrants.
"I hope you live in peace in countries that welcome you, keeping the values of your culture of origin. At this time - he concluded - we think of so many migrants, those without documents, without work, we think of their suffering. And we think of those who are committed to defending them from those who Blessed Scalabrini called 'the merchants of human flesh.'
"I want to thank - added - the Congregation of St. Charles he founded, the Scalabrini men and women religious who become migrants themselves among migrants."
"Let us now pray all together for migrants and refugees who are facing serious and difficult situations," the pope said in conclusion.
Pope Francis calls for your 'prayer and action'...
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Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2014
Respect for Women: That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.
Vocations: That many young people may accept the Lord’s invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.
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