In his Angelus last Sunday, Pope Francis said: “Jesus taught once and for all that love of God and love of neighbour are inseparable; more than that, they sustain one another. Although put in sequence, they are the two faces of a single medal: lived together they are the believer’s true strength.

“To love God is to live of Him, for Him, for what He is and for what He does. And our God is donation without reservations; He is unlimited forgiveness; He is a relationship that promotes and makes one grow.

“Therefore, to love God means to invest one’s energies every day to be His collaborators in serving our neighbour without reservations, in seeking to forgive unlimitedly and in cultivating relationships of communion and fraternity.

“It would be illusory to pretend to love our neighbour without loving God, and it would also be illusory to pretend to love God without loving our neighbour. The two dimensions of love, of God and of neighbour, characterise in their unity the disciple of Christ.”

Rights for all

In a recent statement, the Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land said: “Christians, Muslims, Druze, Baha’i and Jews demand to be treated as equal citizens. This equality must include the respectful recognition of our civic (Israeli), ethnic (Palestinian Arab) and religious (Christian) identities, as both individuals and as communities.

“As Israelis and as Palestinian Arabs, we seek to be part of a State that promotes justice and peace, security and prosperity for all its citizens.

“As Christians, we take pride that the universal Church was founded in Jerusalem and her first faithful were children of this land and its people.

“We recognise that Jerusalem and the whole of this Holy Land is a heritage we share with Jews and Muslims, Druze and Baha’i, a heritage we are called upon to protect from division and internecine strife.”         

Caring for Amazonia

Talking about the concerns of next year’s synod on the Amazon, Bishop Vilson Basso of Imperatriz, an industrial region of northeastern Brazil, said: “The dream of Pope Francis with Laudato Si’ is to put at the centre of the Church’s concern, and that of the world, the care of our common home.

“We need the care of the whole world, that it be a place where everyone can live, this is integral ecology. The care of the earth and the care of the person, that they can have life, and an abundant life.”        

(Compiled by Fr Joe Borg)

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