· Vatican City ·

To Members of a Sikh Delegation from Guru Nanak Darbar, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

A life of service to the poor

 A life of service to the poor  ING-046
17 November 2023

On Saturday morning, 11 November, Pope Francis met with members of a Sikh Delegation from Guru Nanak Darbar, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. He encouraged them to continue serving people in need and thus promote a “spirit of fraternity and equality, justice and peace”. The following is the English text of the Holy Father’s words, which he shared in Italian in the private library of the Apostolic Palace.

With joy I greet all of you, dear Sikh friends, who have gathered here from various countries under the auspices of Guru Nanak Darbar, Dubai. I was pleased to learn about the faith-inspired service you offer to the communities in those countries that have become your home, far from your native land. Such efforts bear witness to your endeavour to live by faith and to contribute to the good of society, as you seek to integrate yourselves while at the same time remaining steadfast to your own specific identity. Moreover, by building bridges among people, and in a special way serving the poor, the needy and the suffering, you also acknowledge the ways in which your own lives have been greatly blessed and enriched.

Faith and service, as you are aware, are intimately linked. Indeed, the true path to God, as your Holy Scripture Guru Granth Sahib says, lies in the service of our fellow human beings. The Gospel brings us these words of Jesus: “I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me” (Mt 25:35-36). Selfless service rendered in particular to the least in our midst, and to those on the peripheries of society, besides making us consciously aware of our own littleness and insufficiency, brings us closer to God. May service, then, always remain your way of life and may you be a blessing to all whom you serve in promoting the spirit of fraternity and equality, justice and peace! May God bless you all!