VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The world needs the “slap” of good examples to break the cycle of selfishness and to start seeing people in need not as masses or statistics, but as human beings, Pope Francis said.
Meeting Jan. 27 with members of the Italian Red Cross, the pope told them their rescue of migrants at sea and care for them in refugee centers is a “prophetic sign.”
“The prophet — to speak in a language everyone understands — the prophet is one who ‘slaps’ with his way of living, with the service he provides, with his words,” the pope said. “He slaps, awakens, gives a real slap to social selfishness, to the selfishness of society and reawakens the best that is in people’s hearts. But he gives this slap with his word and his witness, not with his hand.”
Ignoring the needs of the poor and those who are suffering is possible, he said, because they are “not recognized as unique and unrepeatable, and they remain invisible because they are hidden by the shadow of indifference.”
Those who are selfish, he said, do not see other people, do not hear their cries and do not perceive their suffering.
“The throwaway culture, which is so current today, is an anonymous culture without bonds and without faces,” the pope said. “It takes care only of some people, excluding many others.”
But the good Samaritan must be the model for Christians and for those inspired by the principles of the Red Cross, he said.
In the Gospel story, Pope Francis said, when the Samaritan sees the traveler left half dead alongside the road, “he does not interrogate him before helping him.” He does not ask where he comes from and what religion he belongs to or whether he did something to provoke or deserve the attack.
“No, the good Samaritan does not subject the injured man to any initial exam; he does not judge him. And his assistance does not depend on any moral traits or, even less, to any religious ones,” the pope said.
The good Samaritan, he said, is like Jesus, who bowed low to offer salvation to every human being.
Join the CatholicPhilly.com family
CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you and hundreds of other people become part of our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community and sustain CatholicPhilly.com as your trusted news source. Thank you in advance!
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
PREVIOUS: Visiting Ukrainians, pope praises women of faith, prays for peace
NEXT: Fight indifference, actively respond to hatred, violence, pope says
Share this story