Discover face of Jesus in migrants: Pope

Pope Francis celebrating Mass in memory of his 2013 trip to Lampedusa to visit migrants (Vatican News)

Pope Francis has urged Christians to discover the face of Jesus in the migrants, refugees and the displaced who are forced to flee because of the many injustices that still afflict our world today. Source: Vatican News.

Celebrating a Mass on yesterday in the Vatican’s Casa Santa Marta chapel, to commemorate the seventh anniversary of his visit to the migrants in the Italian island of Lampedusa, the Pope recalled the words of Jesus: “Whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me”. The Pope said this warning, for better or for worse, is a burning issue today.

His July 8, 2013, visit to the Mediterranean island was the first of his pontificate after his election on 13 March of the same year.

During the visit, he threw a floral wreath into the sea in memory of some 20,000 migrants who died while trying to cross the Mediterranean. He briefly met and spoke to some young African migrants before celebrating an open-air Mass.

The visit is highly symbolic of the pontificate of the Argentine Pope, who wants the Church to be an inclusive one that goes forth to the peripheries, to include all, leaving no one out.

Recalling his homily of seven years ago in Lampedusa, the Pope said that the “culture of comfort, makes us think only of ourselves, makes us insensitive to the cries of other people”.

“We have become used to the suffering of others: it doesn’t affect me; it doesn’t concern me; it’s none of my business!” the Pope said.

Pope Francis urged Christians to use the words of Jesus as a fundamental element to examine our conscience on a daily basis. In this regard, he thought of the detention camps in Libya, “the abuses and violence that migrants are victims of, journeys of hope, rescue operations, and push-backs".

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Pope at Mass: Seek God's face in the poor, sick, abandoned and foreigners (Vatican News)

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