Pope calls for welcoming the stranger and clothing the naked
In his second catechesis on the works of mercy, Pope Francis spoke about two works: welcoming the stranger and clothing the naked. He explained this means "caring for those whose dignity has been stripped from them, and working to ensure that it is upheld and safeguarded.â? He prayed that followers of Christ will never close their hearts to those in need, but instead be open to others. By doing this, he said their lives will be enriched and societies can enjoy peace by living in a way that upholds their God-given dignity. SUMMARY OF THE CATECHESIS IN ENGLISH Dear Brothers and Sisters: In our catechesis for this Holy Year of Mercy, we now consider two particular corporal works of mercy: welcoming the stranger and clothing the naked. Jesus mentions both of these in connection with the Last Judgement (cf. Mt 25:35-36). Nowadays, the "strangerâ? is often the immigrant in our midst. In every age, the phenomenon of immigration calls for a response of openness and solidarity. In our own day, the growing influx of refugees fleeing war, famine and dire poverty is a summons to welcome and care for these brothers and sisters. Like so many committed Christians who have gone before us, such as Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, we need to find generous and creative ways of meeting their immediate needs. So too, "clothing the nakedâ? increasingly means caring for those whose dignity has been stripped from them, and working to ensure that it is upheld and safeguarded. As followers of Christ, may we never close our hearts to those in need. For by openness to others, our lives are enriched, our societies enjoy peace and all people can live in a way befitting their God-given dignity. I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in todayâ??s Audience, particularly those from England, Wales, Ireland, Finland, Norway, Israel, Australia, Indonesia,China, Japan, Canada and the United States of America. With prayerful good wishes that the present Jubilee of Mercy will be a moment of grace and spiritual renewal for you and your families, I invoke upon all of you joy and peace in our Lord Jesus Christ.