These are quotes from the Pope during his recent visit to Peru:

Jesus gets involved

In Lima, Peru, last Sunday, he said: “The Kingdom of Heaven means fin­ding in Jesus a God who gets in­volv­ed with the lives of people. And he involves others not to be afraid to make of our history a history of salvation. Jesus walks through the city with his disciples and begins to see, to hear, to notice those who have given up in the face of indifference, laid low by the grave sin of corruption. He calls his disciples and invites them to set out with him.”

Do not flee injustice

“Our cities, with their daily situations of pain and injustice, can tempt us to flee, to hide. Jonah and we have plenty of excuses to do so. We become indifferent, deaf to others, cold and hard of heart. When this happens, we wound our people’s soul. Unlike Jonah, Jesus reacted to the distressing, unjust news of John’s arrest by entering Galilee and from its small towns he began to sow the seeds of great hope: that the Kingdom of God is at hand, that God is among us. He encourages us to enter like leaven into every corner of our daily life.”

Cloistered life widens our hearts

Speaking to cloistered nuns, he said: “You pray and intercede for our many brothers and sisters who are prisoners, migrants, refugees and victims of persecution. Your prayers of intercession em­brace the many families experiencing difficulties, the unemployed, the poor, the sick, and those struggling with addiction, to mention just a few of the situations. Cloistered life neither closes nor shrinks our hearts, but rather widens them in our relationship with the Lord, making them capable of feeling in a new way the pain, the suffering, the frustration and the misfortune of so many of our brothers and sisters who are victims of today’s ‘throwaway culture’.”

Violence not normal

On January 20, in Trujillo, Peru, he said: “Violence against women cannot be treated as ‘normal’; maintaining a culture of machismo blinds (us) to the leading role that women play in our communities.”

Defending the environment

With indigenous people in Puerto Maldonado on January 19 he said: “You are a living memory of the mission that God has entrusted to us all: the protection of our common home. The defence of the earth has no other purpose than the defence of life. We know of the suffering caused for some of you by emissions of hydrocarbons, which threa­ten your families’ lives and contaminate your natural environment.”

(Compiled by Fr Joe Borg)


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