In a statement at the end of a recent meeting, the Bishops of Panama said: “As a Church, we cannot be indifferent to the drama that takes place at our borders, where hundreds of people migrate with great difficulty, at the risk of their lives, exposed to trafficking networks, in truly painful conditions.
“Unfortunately, the arrival of migrants has generated stereotypes in some sectors, because they think they take away work or carry diseases. There are even signs of xenophobia in a country whose vocation is openness, welcome and service to the world.
“The Church has the Christian commitment to welcome and protect the migrant; we cannot remain indifferent. It is not enough to complain and mourn the vices of politicians and distortions of politics. It is urgent to assume our social responsibility towards the neighbour, the excluded and the poor, which is a specific task of the laity.”
Jesus overcomes temptation
In his Angelus address last Sunday, Pope Francis said: “Jesus overcomes temptation thrice to adhere fully to the Father’s plan. And He points out to us the remedies: the interior life, faith in God, the certainty of His love, the certainty that God loves us, who is Father, and with this certainty, we will overcome every temptation.
“However, in answering the tempter, Jesus doesn’t enter in a dialogue but responds to the three challenges only with the Word of God. This teaches us that one doesn’t dialogue with the devil, one must not dialogue; one answers only with the Word of God.”
The call not a cage
In his message for the 56th World Day of Prayer for Vocations, the Pope said: “The Lord’s call is not an intrusion of God in our freedom; it is not a ‘cage’ or a burden. On the contrary, it is the loving initiative whereby God encounters us and invites us to be part of a great undertaking. He opens before our eyes the horizon of a greater sea and an abundant catch.
“In encountering the Lord, some may feel the attraction of a call to the consecrated life or to the ordained priesthood. It is a discovery that can excite and at the same time frighten, since we feel called to become ‘fishers of men’ in the barque of the Church by giving totally of ourselves in commitment to faithful service of the Gospel and our brothers and sisters. Such a decision carries the risk of leaving everything behind to follow the Lord, to devote ourselves completely to Him, and to share in His work.
(Compiled by Fr Joe Borg)
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