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Works not words

· ​At the Angelus the Pope speaks about the Parable of the Good Samaritan and calls for closeness to those in need ·

Looking into the faces of the “hungry child”, of the “immigrant who many wanted to drive away”, of the “grandparents ... abandoned in nursing homes”, of the sick man “alone in the hospital”, Christians today can put into practice the Parable of the Good Samaritan. At the Angelus on Sunday, 10 July, Pope Francis commented on the Parable, underscoring that it indicates “a way of life, which has as its focal point not ourselves, but others”.

It is precisely people in difficulty who challenge us. When that is not the case, the Pope explained, “something is not right; something in that heart is not Christian”. Thus the Pontiff invited all men and women to ask themselves: “who is my neighbour?”, to ask, “Who must I love as myself? My parents? My friends? My fellow countrymen? Those who belong to my religion?”. Or do we do as the Gospel commands – that we overturn that “initial perspective” and “not categorize others in order to decide who is my neighbour and who is not”. After all, the Holy Father clarified: “it is up to me whether to be a neighbour or not to the person I encounter who needs help, even if they are a stranger or perhaps hostile”.

In other words, the Pope said, the Parable of the Good Samaritan still teaches us today to “do good works” and not just say “words that are gone with the wind”. Indeed, it is only with works, Francis said, that “our faith emerges and bears fruit”. It is a matter, he said to the faithful in St Peter’s Square, of asking ourselves whether our faith is fruitful: “Does our faith produce good works? Or is it sterile instead, and therefore more dead than alive?”. Do we have the capacity to act as a neighbour to those in need, or do we simply pass by? It is good to ask ourselves these questions because, as the Pontiff reminded us, “in the end we will be judged on the works of mercy”.

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St. Peter’s Square

Nov. 15, 2018

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