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Culture of encounter overcomes indifference in families and society

Men and women must work to build a culture of encounter in order to overcome today’s habit of turning a blind eye to the suffering of others, Pope Francis said.

People often cross paths but too often “think of themselves; they see but do not look, they hear but do not listen,” the pope said during morning Mass in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae on 13th September.

“We are accustomed to a culture of indifference and we must strive and ask for the grace to create a culture of encounter, of a fruitful encounter, of an encounter that restores to each person his or her own dignity as a child of God, the dignity of a living person,” the pope said in his homily.

The pope reflected on the day’s Gospel reading in which Jesus raises the son of widow from the dead after he saw the mother’s suffering and “was moved with pity for her.”

Christ’s encounter with the woman “makes us reflect on our way of interacting with each other,” the pope said.

This compassion is not the same kind we feel “when we walk along the street, for example, and we see something sad and say, ‘What a pity!'” he said.

Pope Francis said that in reaching out to this woman’s suffering, Jesus shows not only tenderness, but the fruitfulness of encounter “that restores people and things to their rightful place.”

“It’s not enough to see. No, (we must) look. If I don’t stop, if I don’t look, if I don’t touch, if I don’t speak, I cannot have an encounter and I cannot help build a culture of encounter,” the pope said.

People today, he continued, are in need of an encounter with Jesus and his word, particularly today where “within the heart of society, which is the family, there is no encounter.”

“In our families, at the dinner table, how many times while eating, do people watch the TV or write messages on their mobile phones. Each one is indifferent to that encounter,” he said.

Pope Francis called on Christians to follow Jesus’ example and “to be moved by pity” for those who suffer.

“Draw near, touch them and say in the language that comes to each one of us in that moment – the language of the heart: ‘Do not weep’ and give them at least a touch of life.”

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OTHER NEWS

JOIN US FOR THE RE-DEDICATION EVENT -WATCH OUR LIVESTREAM BELOW AT NOON

THE REDEDICATION In 1381, England was dedicated to Mary by King Richard II and was 'set apart for her among the nations. This year, the Christians of England are called to make a personal dedication to Mary, taking up her example as Christ’s first disciple. History...

Prayers to say for the rededication of England as Mary’s Dowry

At noon today (Sunday, 29 March), England will be rededicated as the Dowry of Mary. While celebrations have been scaled back for obvious reasons, Catholics can still make join in at home by saying the prayers below. You can say the prayers at any time of day, although...

Online Mass and CAFOD are helping fill the holes left in our Sundays

With the coronavirus pandemic causing Masses across the country to be cancelled, there is now a large demand for virtual worship – and Catholic charity CAFOD hopes its weekly ‘Children’s Liturgy Live!’ will inspire families across the UK after the first session saw...

Catholic Churches in Europe opened to fight COVID-19

Catholic dioceses and religious orders across Europe are offering to turn church facilities into spaces needed for health care or housing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Church leaders throughout Europe have been struggling to maintain Catholic religious devotions...

CAFOD takes its activities online as world stays home

With the onset of the coronavirus leaving many spending more time inside, organisations have swung into action moving their activities online, including UK charity CAFOD, which hopes its digital events and resources will unite international communities. The Covid-19...