ROME – Pope Francis on Saturday urged Christians to live in hope despite the many serious troubles and pains afflicting our world.
“Bad news fills the pages of newspapers, websites and television screens to the point that evil seems to reign supreme. But that is not the case,” the pope said in his annual message on World Poor’s Day.“Of course, malevolence and violence, abuse and corruption abound,” he said, “but life is also intertwined with acts of respect and generosity that not only compensate for evil, but inspire us to take another step and fill our hearts with hope.”Last week, Francis reached out to Americans amid riots and looting, urging everyone to work for national reconciliation while insisting that violence is “self-destructive and self-destructive.”
“I have witnessed with great concern the disturbing social unrest in your country in recent days following the tragic death of Mr. George Floyd,” Francis said.“My friends, we cannot tolerate or turn a blind eye to racism and exclusion in any form and yet claim to defend the sanctity of all human life,” the pontiff continued. “At the same time, we must recognize that the violence of recent nights is self-destructive and self-destructive. Nothing is won by violence and so much is lost.
In his message on World Poor’s Day, the pope focused instead on the experience of life during the coronavirus pandemic and the blockages that resulted with the bewilderment and pain they caused.
“This pandemic came suddenly and took us und preparing, creating a powerful sense of bewilderment and helplessness,” Francis said. “The time of the pandemic forced us to be strictly isolated, making it impossible even to see and comfort friends and acquaintances grieving the loss of their loved ones.”
“The current experience has challenged many of our assumptions,” he said. “We feel poorer and less self-sufficient because we have come to feel our limits and the restriction of our freedom.”
“The loss of jobs and the opportunities to be close to our loved ones and our regular acquaintances suddenly opened our eyes to horizons that we had long taken for granted,” he continued. “Our spiritual and material resources have been called into question and we have found ourselves feeling fear.”In fact, however, throughout the pandemic, there were heroes among us, and “hands never stopped reaching out to the poor,” he said.
“During these months, when the whole world fell prey to a virus that brought pain and death, despair and bewilderment, how many outstretched hands did we see!” he said. “Are hands outstretched from doctors who cared about each patient and tried to find the right remedy. The outstretched hands of nurses who worked overtime for hours to care for the sick.
The heroes included administrators, pharmacists, priests and volunteers, as well as the many men and women who worked to provide essential services and security, he said.
“These hands defied contagion and fear to offer support and consolation,” he said.
Now it is important to keep your eyes fixed on the essentials, the pope said, and to rediscover a sense of brotherhood, mutual aid and esteem.
“This is a good time to regain the conviction that we need each other, that we have a shared responsibility for others and for the world,” he said. “We are tired of immorality and mockery of ethics, kindness, faith and honesty.”