Pope Francis on Sunday reminded the faithful to be hospitable towards all those who arrive on our shores and in our societies.
Addressing those present for Holy Mass and the Sunday Angelus in St. Peter’s Square, the Pope recalled the just celebrated liturgy dedicated to migrants and refugees during which, he said, “we renewed the Church’s attention” to the many vulnerable people who are on the move”, Vatican News reports.
As Christians, “we cannot be indifferent to the tragedy of old and new forms of poverty”, said Pope Francis. “We cannot remain insensitive before the misery of so many innocent people. We must not fail to weep”, he added. “We must not fail to respond”.
Quoting from the Books of Exodus and Deuteronomy, both of which warn against mistreating widows orphans, and strangers, the Pope described God’s “loving care for the less privileged”. He called it “a characteristic trait of the God of Israel”, one that is “likewise required, as a moral duty, of all those who would belong to his people”.
The theme for this 105th World Day of Migrants and Refugees is “It is not Just about Migrants”. It is about “all those in existential peripheries who, together with migrants and refugees, are victims of the throwaway culture”, explained the Pope. “The Lord calls us to restore their humanity, as well as our own, and to leave no one behind”.
Pope Francis said the Lord invites us “to consider the injustices that cause exclusion”. These include “the privileges of the few, who, in order to preserve their status, act to the detriment of the many”.
He gave concrete examples of how “developing countries continue to be drained” of their resources “for the benefit of a few privileged markets”. Or how wars only affect some regions of the world, “yet weapons of war are produced and sold in other regions which are then unwilling to take in the refugees generated by these conflicts”.
Today too, the “culture of comfort… makes us think only of ourselves”, he said. We become insensitive and indifferent. “Overly concerned with preserving our own well-being, we too risk being blind to our brothers and sisters in difficulty”.