The Holy Father's Missionary Prayer Intention for August 2010: “ That the Church may be a “home” for all people, ready to open its doors to any who are suffering from racial or religious discrimination, hunger, or wars forcing them to emigrate to other countries.”

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) – One of the most pressing problems for men and women today is a sense of solitude. Among the crowds of our cities, interest for the individual person is often lost. Many, even though surrounded by hundreds of other people, experience solitude and loneliness. Solitude is especially felt by immigrants, people forced to leave their home, their country of origin, because of the brutality of war, discrimination, racism, or the intolerance of a religion imposed against the individual conscience.
Part of belonging to the Church is a sense of the "family of God" , even more, a sense of "home" . "Home" is where we feel loved and valued for what we are. To say "home" means to say, human warmth, experience of maternal love. A mother turns a dwelling into a "home". Like a Holy Mother, the Church must be a 'home' for all her children and especially those most in need. We should hear again and again resounding in our ears the words of the Master "whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me". The reality of immigration creates in the person who faces it extremely difficult conditions of powerlessness, insecurity, basic needs. In addition there are often restrictions due to language barriers or unemployment, etc. The position of powerlessness and necessity, at times desperate, renders immigrants susceptible to manipulation. Many are exploited at work. We must never forget that " The migrant is a human person who possesses fundamental, inalienable rights that must be respected by everyone and in every circumstance" (Benedict XVI, Message for World Day for Refugees and Migrants 2010).
As Christians it is our duty to present a Church which is truly the image of Christ. A maternal image, an expression of the “merciful goodness of our God”. In his Encyclical “Deus caritas est”, the Holy Father, Benedict XVI spoke clearly about the Church's exercise of charity. “ The Church is God's family in the world. In this family no one ought to go without the necessities of life. Yet at the same time caritas- agape extends beyond the frontiers of the Church. The parable of the Good Samaritan remains as a standard which imposes universal love towards the needy whom we encounter “by chance” (cf. Lk 10:31), whoever they may be. Without in any way detracting from this commandment of universal love, the Church also has a specific responsibility: within the ecclesial family no member should suffer through being in need. ”. (DCE, 25b)
With regard to the Church's first seven deacons, the Pope writes “ nor was this group to carry out a purely mechanical work of distribution: they were to be men “full of the Spirit and of wisdom” (cf. Acts 6:1-6). In other words, the social service which they were meant to provide was absolutely concrete, yet at the same time it was also a spiritual service; theirs was a truly spiritual office which carried out an essential responsibility of the Church, namely a well-ordered love of neighbour. ” (DCE, 21). Therefore this is not simply social service, it is an expression of the Church's supernatural charity.
Let us ask Mary, our Mother, to help us show the maternal image of the Church as the expression of God's love for all men and women. The Mother of God was forced to emigrate to Egypt in order to protect the life of Life, she experienced the privations and needs of migrants. To her maternal intercession we entrust all our brothers and sisters forced to leave their homeland, that she may protect them and guide them towards our eternal homeland. (Agenzia Fides 24/07/2010)