'Let Us Respect and Love One Another as Brothers and Sisters'

In Response to the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem's Strong Criticisms of the Jews, Pope Francis Repeated His Appeal to be Agents of Peace and Justice

Jerusalem, (Zenit.org) Antonio Gaspari | 1002 hits

At 7:15 pm Roman time on Sunday, Pope Francis was welcomed at the entrance of the Dome of the Rock by the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and All Palestine, Sheik Muhammad Ahmad Hussein and by the Director General of the “Waqf” Council, namely, the custody of the inalienable goods belonging to Islamic religious entities, managed exclusively for charitable ends.

In face of the strong criticisms of the Jews on the part of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Pope Francis reiterated “the appeal to be agents of peace and justice,” understanding the other’s pain and impeding the use of violence by instrumentalizing the name of God.

“Dear Muslim Friends, before the mystery of God we are all poor,” that is, “we feel the need to always be ready to come out of ourselves, docile to God’s call to us, open to the future that He wishes to build for us,” the Pope said.

The Bishop of Rome recalled the life of Abraham whom Muslims, Christians and Jews  recognize as Father “in the faith and a great example to imitate.” Responding to God, Abraham “became a pilgrim, leaving his own people and his house,” the Pope recalled.

“A pilgrim is a person who makes himself poor, who accepts to leave his homeland, is stretched toward a great and longed-for goal, lives in the hope of a promise received” (cf. Hebrews 11:8-19).

“This was Abraham’s condition,” the Pope explained, “this must also be our spiritual attitude."

“We can never think of ourselves as self-sufficient, masters of our life; we cannot limit ourselves to remain closed, secure in our convictions,” he stressed,

“Before the mystery of God, we are all poor, we feel the need to always be ready come out of ourselves, docile to God’s call to us, open to the future He wishes to build for us,” the Holy Father humbly acknowledged.

In the course of our earthly pilgrimage, we come across other brothers, with whom “sometimes we share part of the road, sometimes we live together a pause that heartens us.”

For the Bishop of Rome, this is the meaning of his pilgrimage, a fraternal encounter with different faiths and communities “which can restore us and give us new strength to face the common challenges we have before us.”

As Abraham, whom God wished to be a witness of his acting and his imitator, the Pope invited to be “agents of peace and justice,” to “invoke in prayer these gifts and to learn from above mercy, greatness of spirit and compassion.”

Pope Francis then made a heartbroken appeal to all the people and communities who recognize one another in Abraham:

“Let us respect and love one another as brothers and sisters!”, he said.

“Let us learn to understand the pain of the other!”

“May no one instrumentalize God’s name for violence!”

“Let us work together for justice and peace!”, he concluded.