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No to the culture of indifference

Tuesday, 8 January 2019



(by: L'Osservatore Romano, weekly edition, n.4, 25/01/2019) 

Pope Francis warned against the “culture of indifference”, and called on the faithful to follow God’s example of love, “without ever turning away” in tending to people’s needs, especially those of the poor. Dedicating his Mass on Tuesday, 8 January, to the recently deceased Archbishop Giorgio Zur, titular Archbishop of Sesta, the Holy Father referred to the Apostle John’s “exhortation to love” as described in the day’s reading (1 Jn 4:7-10), in which John says: “let us love one another; for love is of God”. Indeed, the Pontiff explained, “God loved us first; this is the mystery of love”. He took “this first step toward each of us, toward mankind, who does not know how to love”, and needs the caresses, teachings and witness of God in order to love.

Pope Francis then turned to the day’s reading from the Gospel according to Mark (6:34-44), which recounts the parable of the multiplication of the fish and the loaves, in order to explain God’s motivation behind his first step: “he had compassion”. He could not remain indifferent, the Holy Father said, because “love is restless, love does not tolerate indifference, love has compassion”. Indeed, faced with the indifference of the Apostles toward the hungry multitude and their suggestion to send the crowd away to find their own food while the Apostles had enough bread for themselves, Jesus admonishes: “You give them something to eat”. (v. 37). The Apostles “were not mean”, but rather, “they were indifferent; they did not know what love is, they did not know what compassion is”, the Holy Father explained.

Pope Francis ended his homily with an invitation to meditate on this compassionate, merciful God “who takes the first step” despite our attitude of indifference.

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