Pope Francis has appealed to the hospitality of all Christians with migrants in front of some rulers who see them as “a threat” during the general audience this Wednesday in St. Peter’s Square. Thus, the Pontiff stressed that today the sea where Pablo and his fellow travelers were shipwrecked is a “dangerous place for the life of other navigators.”
Specifically, he has urged them to work together to show “the love of God” to men and women from all over the world “who face risky travel” to escape violence, war, poverty, and those who often ” they do not let them disembark at the ports, “being also” exploited by criminal traffickers “,” treated as numbers “and seen as” a threat “by some rulers.
Thus, he has assured that Christians can and should bear witness that “there is not only hostility and indifference but that each person is precious to God and loved by Him.”
Francisco has dedicated his address to ecumenical hospitality in the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity and stressed that “the divisions that still exist” prevent being fully “the sign of God’s love.” “Working together to live ecumenical hospitality and especially for those whose lives are most vulnerable, will make us all, all Christians – protesters, Orthodox, Catholics, all Christians – better human beings, better disciples and a people more united Christian. He will bring us closer to unity, which is God’s will for us, “he said.
Thus, uniting both themes, at the end of the catechesis in his greeting to the faithful of the Spanish language, the Pope has called to pray to the Lord “for all who suffer in the stormy sea of uprooting and abandonment”, and to commit to work together, “asking the Lord for the gift of unity, so that as Christians” witness “the rewarding love of God for each person”.
Precisely, the Pope has stressed that welcoming Christians from another tradition means, in the first place, to show the love of God. Thus he has reflected on the passage of the Acts of the Apostles that speaks of the hospitality reserved by the inhabitants of Malta to St. Paul and his fellow travelers, shipwrecked with him.
The apostles, as he has pointed out, received “the testimony of the ‘rare humanity’ of the inhabitants of the island of Malta”. For the Pontiff, these people manifested the love of God in concrete acts of gentleness. “In fact, spontaneous hospitality and attentive gestures communicate something of God’s love,” he added.
In this sense, he stressed that “hospitality is important” because it means first of all “to recognize that other Christians are truly brothers and sisters in Christ.” He has also stressed that hospitality “is an important ecumenical virtue,” and requires “the willingness to listen to others.” In addition, it implies “the desire to know the experience that other Christians have of God and the wait to receive the spiritual gifts they derive.”
Therefore, he has called to be available and open, with the desire to know his experience of faith, to be enriched by that “spiritual gift.”