Through Lent with Pope Francis
I realise that some people are hesitant and fearful with regard to migrants. I consider this part of our natural instinct of self-defence.Frateli Tutti
Yet it is also true that an individual and a people are only fruitful and productive if they are able to develop a creative openness to others.
I ask everyone to move beyond those primal reactions because “there is a problem when doubts and fears condition our way of thinking and acting to the point of making us intolerant, closed and perhaps even – without realizing it – racist. In this way, fear deprives us of the desire and the ability to encounter the other”.
Acts of the Apostles 2:1-12 NCB
When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all assembled together in one place.
Suddenly, there came from heaven a sound similar to that of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house in which they were sitting. Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which separated and came to rest on each one of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different languages, as the Spirit enabled them to do so.
Now staying in Jerusalem there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven. At this sound, a large crowd of them gathered, and they were bewildered because each one heard them speaking in his own language. They were astounded and asked in amazement, “Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? How is it then that each of us hears them in his own native language? Parthians, Medes, and Elamites, residents of Mesopotamia, Judea, and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya around Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs—we hear them speaking in our own languages about the mighty deeds of God.”
They were all astounded and perplexed, and they said to one another, “What does all this mean?”
Thought for Today
The common Scots phrase, “We’re all Jock Tamson’s bairns” acknowledges that we all belong to the same human family. Yet at the same time, frequently we tend to divide the world up into ‘our people’ and ‘them’. Whether we use, race, religion, nationality, wealth, or class, we find divisions between people. And frequently, we accept those who we regard as similar, and reject those who are different. The Pope suggests that many times these differences are seen as primal, we are not even aware of them.
Ponder on the peoples of the world: are there people I need to bring back into the fold of ‘us’ rather than ‘them’?
All are Welcome – performed and written by Marty Haugan