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Thank God for the people he’s put in your life, suggests Pope Francis


Antoine Mekary | ALETEIA

Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 02/18/20

Pope reflects on how Our Lord places us in a community, and how we should be grateful

God wants his children to be part of a people, to form community, and to reject egotism, Pope Francis reflected February 14 at morning Mass, as the community of his residence celebrated the retirement of one of the employees after 40 years of work.

The Holy Father pointed out that the Casa Santa Marta is a “big family” and reflected on the families that surround us all, made up not just of our relatives, but those who “accompany us along the journey of life for a certain time.”

It is good for all of us who live here to think of this family that accompanies us, and for you who do not live here, to think of all the people who accompany you in the journey of life: neighbors, friends, colleagues, classmates … We aren’t alone. The Lord wants us as part of a people, he wants us to be part of a community, he doesn’t want us egotistical; egotism is a sin.

Pope Francis reflected how the thought of each person’s name evokes a presence and a history … the mark that he or she has left on us. He named various of those who form part of the “big family”:

I think of Luisa. Of Cristina. I think of the grandmother of the house, Sister Maria, who came to work as a young woman and decided to consecrate herself there.

He went on to mention some who have left: “Miriam, who left with the child; Elvira, who was an example of someone who fought for life, up to the end. And others who have retired or who’ve gone on to work elsewhere. A presence that has brought good to us, and that sometimes it’s difficult to leave.”

Today it would be good for all of us, all of us, to think with gratitude of the people who accompany us along the path of life … and also as a gesture of gratitude to God. Thank you, Lord, because you do not leave us alone. It’s true that there are always problems, and where people are, there will be gossip. Even here. There’s prayer, and there’s talk, both things. And sometimes, also, there’s sin against charity.

But, the pope said, to sin, to lose patience, and then to ask for forgiveness, is part of family life.

Today is a day to give thanks and to ask forgiveness, from the heart, each one of us, to the people who accompany us in life, for a part of life, or for the whole of life. And I would like to take advantage of Patrizia’s retirement to do with you this ‘act of memory,’ of thanksgiving, and also of asking forgiveness of the people who accompany us. Let each one of us do this with the people who habitually accompany us.


Read more:
Pope Francis: Let’s resurrect family conversation

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