In the Second Reading the Apostle Paul also refers to the universality of salvation, as does the Gospel passage that recounts the episode of the Canaanite woman, a foreigner for the Jews, whose wish was granted by Jesus because of her great faith. The Word of God thus gives us an opportunity to reflect on the universality of the mission of the Church which is made up of people of every race and culture. From precisely this stems the great responsibility of the ecclesial community which is called to be a hospitable home for all, a sign and instrument of communion for the entire human family.
How important it is, especially in our time, that every Christian community increasingly deepens its awareness of this in order also to help civil society overcome every possible temptation to give into racism, intolerance and exclusion and to make decisions that respect the dignity of every human being! One of humanity’s great achievements is in fact its triumph over racism. However, unfortunately disturbing new forms of racism are being manifested in various Countries. They are often related to social and economic problems which can, however, never justify contempt and racial discrimination. Let us pray that respect for every person everywhere will increase, together with a responsible awareness that only in the reciprocal acceptance of one and all is it possible to build a world distinguished by authentic justice and true peace.
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Pope Benedict XVI
Aug 17th, 2008
Pedro Gabriel, MD, is a Catholic layman and physician, born and residing in Portugal. He is a medical oncologist, currently employed in a Portuguese public hospital. A published writer of Catholic novels with a Tolkienite flavor, he is also a parish reader and a former catechist. He seeks to better understand the relationship of God and Man by putting the lens on the frailty of the human condition, be it physical and spiritual. He also wishes to provide a fresh perspective of current Church and World affairs from the point of view of a small western European country, highly secularized but also highly Catholic by tradition.