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Pope in Santa Marta: Change the culture of indifference to a culture of encounter

2016-09-13

In his Tuesday homily at Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis explained that the world today is experiencing a lack of encounter, leading to a societal indifference in the dignity of each person as a child of God. 

POPE FRANCIS
"May this help us to strive for this culture of encounter, just as simply as Jesus did so. Not just to see but to look. Not just to hear but to listen. Not just to meet and pass by, but to stop. And don’t just say ‘what a shame, poor people,’ but allow ourselves to be moved by pity. Then draw near, touch and say in the language that comes to each one of us in that moment, the language of the heart: ‘Do not weep,’ and donate at the very least a drop of life.”

He asked each person to look, listen and stop to spend time with those around them. He said this is especially threatened in the family, where TVs and telephones steal away valued conversation time. He called for heartfelt meetings, giving regard for and caring about the other instead of oneself. 


EXCERPTS FROM PAPAL HOMILY
(Source: Vatican Radio)

"An encounter is something different. It is what today’s Gospel proclaims to us: an encounter; an encounter between a man and a woman, between an only living son and an only son who had died; between a joyful crowd, because they had encountered Jesus and were following him, and a group of people, weeping, accompanying that woman, who had come out from the gate of the city; an encounter between the exit gate and the entry gate. The sheep fold. An encounter that makes us reflect on our way of interacting with each other.”

"We are accustomed to a culture of indifference and we must strive and ask for the grace to create a culture of encounter, of a fruitful encounter, of an encounter that restores to each person his or her own dignity as a child of God, the dignity of a living person. We are accustomed to this indifference, when we see the disasters of this world or small things: ‘What a shame, poor people, look how they are suffering,’ and then we carry on. An encounter.  And if I don’t look, it’s not enough to see, no, (we must) look – if I don’t stop, if I don’t look, if I don’t touch, if I don’t speak, I cannot have an encounter and I cannot help to build a culture of encounter.”

"In our families, at the dinner table, how many times while eating, do people watch the TV or write messages on their cell phones. Each one is indifferent to that encounter. Even within the heart of society, which is the family, there is no encounter. May this help us to strive for this culture of encounter, just as simply as Jesus did so. Not just to see but to look. Not just to hear but to listen. Not just to meet and pass by, but to stop. And don’t just say ‘what a shame, poor people,’ but allow ourselves to be moved by pity. Then draw near, touch and say in the language that comes to each one of us in that moment, the language of the heart: ‘Do not weep,’ and donate at the very least a drop of life.”


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