We publish below the letter that Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, sent on behalf of the Pope to the Bishop of Rimini, Francesco Lampasi. The meeting took place from August 20-25 and its theme was “Passion for People”.
The Holy Father warmly welcomes you and, through me, delivers you this message for the upcoming meeting of friendship among peoples, entitled “Passion for Man”. On the occasion of the centenary of the birth of the Servant of God Luigi Giussani, the organizers remember with gratitude his apostolic zeal that prompted him to meet so many people and to convey the Good News of Jesus Christ to all. In his speech at the meeting in 1985, he said: “Christianity was not created to establish a religion, but rather was born as a passion for man. […] Love for people, reverence for people, tenderness towards people, passion for people, absolute appreciation for people.”
Sometimes it may seem as if history has deviated from Christ’s view of man. Pope Francis has emphasized this on many occasions: “The weakness of our age is this too: lack of faith in the existence of redemption, a hand holding us, an embrace that saves us, forgives us, welcomes us, welcomes us infinitely. Love immersed in love, patience and forgiving. This brings us back on the path. the correct “(In the name of of Allah the Merciful. A conversation with Andrea TornelliPenguin Publishing Group 2016, p. 31).
This is the most painful aspect of the experience of the many who experienced loneliness during the pandemic or who had to give up everything to escape the violence of war. Today, more than ever, like a good Samaritan is a key word, because it is clear that “inside, Samaritan people are waiting to come to their rescue, and bend over them, pour oil on their wounds, take care of them and bring them to safety. In the end, they know that they are In need of God’s mercy and gentle mercy, […]saving love that is given unrequitedAn interview with Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.in: Per mezzo della fedeDaniel Libanori, Sinicello Balsamo 2016, p. 129).
The Good Samaritan Gospel presents as an example of the unconditional passion for every brother and sister we meet along the way, and is thus perfectly in line with the meeting theme: “Let us care for the fragility of every man, every woman, every child and every elder, with this attitude of solidarity and attentiveness to the closeness of the Good Samaritan” (Public Letter) Fratelli Totti79).
It’s not just about generosity, which is more common with some and less so with others. Here Jesus wants to show us the deep roots of the gesture of the Good Samaritan. Pope Francis describes it this way: “Christ himself is in every deserted and alienated brother and in every rejected or lonely sister.”[…]recognition (see. mountain 25: 40, 45). Indeed, faith provides important motives for recognizing the Other. Because he who believes can realize that God loves every human being with an unlimited love and that in doing so He bestows on them infinite dignity. In addition, we believe that Christ sheds His blood for all and for each individual and that for Him no one is excluded from His universal love” (ibid. , 85).
This mystery never ceases to amaze us, as Father Gosani testified in the presence of St. John Paul II on May 30, 1998: “What man do you remember, son of man you care about? In my life you have affected me like this. There was only one God in The scientist can answer me by asking a new question: “What is the use of a man if he gains the whole world and loses his life in the process? At what price can a man buy his life? […] Christ alone takes in the heart everything about my humanity” (Genera tracce nella storia del mondoMilan 2019, pp. 7-8).
This Christ’s passion for the destiny of every creature must revive the believer’s view of every human being: free love, without measure and without reckoning. But, we wonder, doesn’t that sound like a divine intent given what we see happening in the world today? In the struggle of all against all, where selfishness and self-interest seem to set the agenda for the lives of individuals and nations, how can we view the people around us in such a way that we see them as good, that we respect and care about? How can separation distance be overcome? The pandemic and war seem to have deepened the rift, causing a retreat towards a more united and solidarity humanity.
But we know that the path of brotherhood is not written in the clouds: it crosses the many spiritual deserts that exist in our society. Pope Benedict XVI said: “In the desert one rediscovers the value of what is essential to life. So in today’s world there are countless signs, often expressed passively or implicitly, of a thirst for God, for the ultimate meaning of life. And in the desert one needs above all people who believe, who direct their lives the way to the Promised Land and thus keep hope alive.”A sermon at the Divine Liturgy for the inauguration of the Year of Faith, 11 October 2012). Pope Francis never tires of pointing out the road that leads through the desert and gives life: “Our commitment is not limited to actions or to programs of reinforcement and assistance. What is moved by the Holy Spirit is not excessive activity, but above all the vigilant attention of others, considering them as one being with himself. This loving care is the beginning of a genuine concern for his person, and it is in this spirit that I truly strive for his good” (Apostolic Exhortation joy of the gospel199).
Restoring this awareness is critical. Not everyone can go the path of self-discovery alone, meeting with the other is essential. In this sense, the Good Samaritan reminds us that our lives are inextricably linked with the lives of others and that relationship with others is a condition for becoming fully ourselves and being fruitful. When God gave us life, He endowed us with Himself in a certain way so that we in turn give ourselves to others: “Man can only grow, perfect, and satiate in the true gift of himself” (General Letter) Fratelli Totti, 87). Father Giussani added that love is “taken” in giving. Indeed, it is touching to believe that Almighty God has bowed to nothingness, has compassion on us, and loves each of us with eternal love.
What is the fruit of those who give themselves up in following Jesus? » social cohesion […]which excludes no one, and brotherhood is open to all.” (ibid.. , 94). A hug breaks down walls and extends to the other, realizing the great value of every tangible human being, whatever the situation. Loving others as they are: a creature of God, created in His own image and likeness, and thus endowed with an inviolable dignity with which no one can act, or worse, mistreat.
And it is this social cohesion that we as believers must strengthen by our witness: “The missionary community places itself in the daily life of others through actions and gestures, shortening distances, humiliating itself if necessary, accepting human life, and communing with man. The suffering body of Christ among people” (joy of the gospel, 24). How necessary it is for men and women of our time to meet those who do not know from the balcony, but take to the streets to partake of the hardships of everyday life, bolstered by a sure hope!
Pope Francis continues to call Christians to this historic mission, for the good of all and the certainty that the source of the dignity of every human being and the possibility of universal brotherhood is the Gospel of Jesus embodied in the life of the Christian community: “If the Gospel music no longer vibrates within us, we will lose the joy that comes from compassion, tenderness which comes from trust, the capacity for reconciliation that comes from knowing that we are forgiven and that we too should be forgiven. When gospel music is not heard in our homes, in public, in our workplaces, in politics, in business, we may be turned off The melody that challenges us, to the dignity of every man and woman regardless. Fighting their origins” (Speech at the Ecumenical Assembly in RigaLatvia, September 24, 2018).
The Holy Father hopes that the organizers and participants of the 2022 meeting will welcome this appeal with joyful and willing hearts and continue to cooperate with the Universal Church in the journey of friendship among peoples, to spread the passion for the human being throughout the world. And when he entrusts this intention to the intercession of Mary Most Holy, he sends fervently the apostolic blessing.
For my part, I convey my personal good wishes for a meeting that may fully live up to expectations, and the feelings of brotherly honor to you remain obedient in the Lord.
Pietro Cardinal Parolin
Cardinal Secretary of State