Dialogue is the only key to reach human heart, locked up in an “existential insecurity that makes us afraid of the other”, said Pope Francis in the Message sent – signed by Cardinal Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin, to the Bishop of Rimini, Mgr. Francesco Lambiasi – on the occasion of the 37th Meeting for Friendship Among Peoples. Organized by Communion and Liberation, the meeting – which will be open from today, 19 Friday to Thursday, 25 August – is titled “You are good for me.” The 2016 edition was inaugurated by the President of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella.
“The title ‘Your presence is good for me’ – Pope Francis’ message begins – is a daring one. In fact, it takes courage to make such a statement, while many aspects of the world around us seem to point in the opposite direction. Too many times we give in to the temptation to close up within the horizons of our own narrow interests, so that others become something superfluous, or even worse, a nuisance, a hindrance. Yet, it does not conform to our nature: since childhood, we discover the beauty of the relationship between human beings, we learn to meet each other, recognizing and respecting them as a companion and as a brother, as the son of the common Father who is in heaven. Individualism, on the contrary, pushes us away from people, grasping mainly their limitations and defects, weakening the desire and ability of a society in which everyone can be free and happy in the company of other people, with the richness of their diversity”.
“In the face of threatened peace and security of the peoples and nations – continues the papal text – we are called to become aware that it is first and foremost existential insecurity that makes us afraid of the other, as if the other was our competitor, someone who deprives of our living space and crosses the boundaries we have built. Facing the change of era that involves all of us, who can think of saving himself alone and actually save himself without the others? This presumptuousness is the source of all conflict between people. Following the example of the Lord Jesus, the Christian always cultivated a thought open to the other, whoever the other may be, because (s)he does not consider anyone to be lost forever.”
“The Gospel – writes the Pope – gives us an evocative image of this attitude: the prodigal son who grazes pigs and a father who every evening goes on the terrace to see if he comes back home and continues to hope in spite of everything and everyone. How different our world would be if this immeasurable hope became the lens through which men look at each other! The tax collector Zacchaeus and the good thief on the cross have been seen by Jesus as God’s creatures in need of salvific embrace. And even Judah, even when he was handing him over to the opponents, was heard was called a ‘friend’ by Jesus.”
“There is a word we must never get tired of repeating and testifying – emphasizes Francesco -: dialogue. We will find out that opening ourselves to the others does not impoverish our gaze, but makes us richer because it makes us recognize the truth of the other, the importance of his experience and the background of what he says, even when it hides behind attitudes and choices we do not share. A real encounter implies clarity of identity, but also willingness to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes to grasp, below the surface, what stirs their heart, what are they really looking for. This way, you can start the dialogue that makes you walk the path towards new syntheses that enrich the one and the other. This is the challenge in front of every person of good will”.
“So many upheavals, and we often feel nothing but powerless witnesses before them, whereas actually – ensures the Pope – they are a mysterious invitation to rediscover the foundations of the communion among men for a new beginning. Faced with all this, how ca we, Jesus’ disciples, contribute to it? Our task overlaps with the mission for which we were chosen by God: it is the proclamation of the Gospel, which today more than ever is mainly reflected in meeting the man’s wounds, bringing the strong and simple presence of Jesus, his consoling and encouraging mercy.”
The hope expressed by the Holy Father encourage “the participants in the meeting to pay attention to their personal creative testimony, knowing what attracts, what wins and loosens the chains is not the power of the tools, but the tenacious meekness of the Father’s merciful love. Everyone can draw from this source of grace offered by God in the sacraments, especially in the Eucharist and Penance, then donate it to their brothers.” The Holy Father also “urges them to continue their commitment to be close to the others, challenging each other in serving them with joy. according to the teaching of Father Giussani: ‘The Christian gaze vibrates with a force that is capable of enhancing the good in everything and everyone it meets, since it allows to recognize them as partakers in a plan that will be fulfilled in eternity and that has been revealed in Christ'”.