The two Vatican parishes “will shelter these days two families of refugees”. This is what has announced Pope Francis during the customary Sunday Angelus in the Saint Peter’s square. In front of the cry of pain that comes from the Mediterranean Sea, the Church must open its arms to the last ones. For this reason, the Pontiff has addressed an appeal “to the parishes, religious communities, monasteries, and shrines all around Europe to express the concreteness of the Gospel” by hosting a family, starting from “my Roman diocese”. Bergoglio has addressed, particularly, his “brother Bishops of Europe, true shepherds, because they support my appeal in their dioceses, remembering that Mercy is the second name of Love: ‘Everything you have done for one of my smaller brothers, you have done to me’ “.
The Holy Father has also urged Christians not to be dumb and deaf, but open to the Word of God and to the relationship with the other, both inside the family and in society. “Jesus restores man’s full communication with God and with other men – he has stressed commenting on the Gospel of the healing of the deaf and dumb – the man who is brought to Jesus becomes a symbol of the disbeliever who makes a journey towards faith. In fact, his deafness expresses inability to listen and to understand not only the words of men, but also the Word of God”. The Pope observes: “The first thing Jesus does is to take the man away from the crowd: he does not want to advertise the action he is about to make, neither does he want his words to be covered by the roar of voices and by the surrounding chatter. The Word of God, sent to us by Christ, needs silence in order to be welcomed as the Word that heals which reconciles and re-establishes communication”.
Bergoglio has explained that “the lesson we draw from this episode is that God does not close in himself, but opens to communication with humanity. In his infinite mercy, he exceeds the abyss of the infinite difference between Him and us, and comes to meet us. To make this communication with the man possible, God becomes man: it is not enough for him to talk through law and prophets; he becomes present as his Son, the Word made flesh. Jesus is the great ‘builder of bridges’ – wherefrom derives the word pontiff – who builds inside himself the great bridge of full communion with the Father”. But, he emphasized “this Gospel also speaks to us about ourselves: often we are closed in ourselves and create many inaccessible and inhospitable islands. Even the most elementary human relations sometimes create realities that are unable to open to each other: a closed couple, a closed family, a closed group, a closed parish, a closed homeland… “. Yet, has reminded Francis, “at the origin of our Christian life, in Baptism, we were healed from the deafness of selfishness and the muteness of closure and we were introduced to the great family of the Church. We can listen to God who speaks to us and communicate his word to those who have never heard of it, who have forgotten and buried it under the thorns of the anxieties and of the illusions of the world”.