(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has reiterated his appeal to State leaders to open their doors to migrants.
Speaking during the General Audience in St. Peter’s Square the Pope said “I like to see leaders who open their hearts and their doors" to the many migrants fleeing their countries.
Listen to the report by Linda Bordoni:
There were about 40 thousand pilgrims gathered in the Square for the weekly catechesis which Francis interspersed with many off-the-cuff remarks which highlighted his empathy for the tens of thousands of forced migrants who are struggling to make their way into Europe as they flee violence and poverty back home.
The Pope recalled our many “brothers and sisters who are living a real and dramatic situation of exile, far from their homeland, with the ruins of their homes and the fear still in their eyes, and even, unfortunately, the pain for the loss of their loved ones”.
“How is it possible that so much pain can strike innocent men, women and children who find doors closed to them when they attempt to go elsewhere? And they are there, on the border, because so many doors and so many hearts are closed. Migrants today are suffering. They are without food and they are not allowed in. They do not feel a welcome” he said.
God – he said – does not forget the pain of those who are rejected.
In these cases, the Pope continued, it is easy to ask oneself: where is God?
And Pope Francis reflected on a Reading in the book of the prophet Jeremiah which he described as containing message of consolation.
Jeremiah, he explained, turns to the Israelites who had been exiled. This experience had shaken their faith, yet the prophet proclaims that God, far from abandoning his people, reaffirms his faithful love and his promise of salvation.
He said Jeremiah’s words of consolation and hope have a particular resonance today in the light of so many tragic situations of exile throughout our world.
He mentioned the recent history of Albania, that after “so much persecution and destruction has managed to lift itself in dignity and faith.”
Pope Francis concluded saying that Jeremiah’s prophecy finds supreme fulfilment in the coming of Jesus, whose paschal mystery proclaims the triumph of God’s merciful love and his promise of reconciliation, renewal and eternal life.