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We must engage with the suffering of others – Pope

POPE Francis says the world is in a time of crisis where the coronavirus pandemic has marked people’s lives.

Addressing participants at the 2021 virtual religious education congress, the pontiff however said there was still hope of coming out the pandemic era.

The congress themed: Proclaim the promise, was sponsored by the Los Angeles Catholic Archdiocese.

“There is no doubt that we are in a difficult time for all, and it is a time of crisis. How relevant, in this context, is the appeal made by this congress: ‘Proclaim the promise! We need to proclaim and to remember that we have God’s promise, and God always keeps His promises,” he said on Friday.

“The pandemic has marked the life of the people and history of our community. Faced with this and other situations, it is necessary to build tomorrow, to look to the future and, to do so, it takes effort, strength and dedication on the part of everyone.”

The Pope urged the world to look to the future with hope.

He said people come out of crises but what matters is how they come out.

“We need to act in the style of the Samaritan, which involves letting ourselves be affected by what we see, knowing that suffering will change us, and we must engage with the suffering of others,” Pope Francis said. “Let us remember a universal principle: you never come out of a crisis the same, you come out better or worse, but you never come out of it the same. In crises, one’s heart is revealed: its solidity, its mercy, its greatness, its meagreness. Crises confront us with the need to choose and to commit ourselves to a path.”

The Pope called for care among people through the spirit of brotherhood.

“The witness of generous and gratuitous love that we have witnessed throughout these months, so many testimonies, have left an indelible mark on consciences and also on the social fabric of society, teaching us how much closeness, care, accompaniment and sacrifice are necessary to nurture brotherhood,” said Pope Francis. “They were the proclamation and fulfillment of God’s promise. I greet young people especially. I invite you to hope, which ‘speaks to us of something deeply rooted in every human heart, independently of our circumstances and historical conditioning’ (Fratelli tutti, 55). You, young people, be the poets of a new human beauty, a new fraternal and friendly beauty!”

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