On October 1 of this year, Pope Francis issued the encyclical letter Fratelli tutti, (On Fraternal or Social Friendship). Our Holy Father recognizing that we are in a dark time, highlights some of the evils and difficulties facing us today. Most obvious is the global pandemic which has killed so many, sickened many others, and severely weakened the global economy. Wars and terrorism continue to afflict the poor resulting in the greatest movement of refugees since World War II. We are beginning to experience profoundly the dramatic impact of climate change throughout the globe. Hyper-nationalism has severely damaged global unity. Face to face communication has been replaced by technology, leading to wide-spread loneliness and alienation. But Pope Francis leaves us with hope.
This letter was written to the entire world, but in Chapter Eight, Pope Francis singles out the benefit that the religions of the world can bring to this darkness. He writes, “The different religions, based on their respect for each human person as a creature called to be a child of God, contribute significantly to building fraternity and defending justice in society” (page 271). All religions seek to establish friendship, peace and harmony in a spirit of truth and love. He notes that as believers, “we are convinced that, without an openness to the Father of all, there will be no solid or stable reasons for an appeal to fraternity” (page 272).
God is not going to descend with trumpets and angels to repair what we have messed up, but today’s readings give us hope. Those who hope in the Lord renew their strength. They will run and not grow weary. Come to me… and I will give your rest.
Fratelli tutti offers us much for reflection and action. Please take some time to read it, a little bit each day.
Let Us Pray:
Creator God, it was your love that brought all that is into existence. It is your love that constantly calls us back to you. We who are now fearful and exhausted come to you and ask that you give us your comfort and support. Give us hope and consolation through your Son Jesus who became one of us and gave us his all that we might know the depth of your love for us. AMEN.
Daily Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)
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