the house of the Father, where there is a place
for everyone, with all their problems.
48. If the whole Church takes up this mis-
sionary impulse, she has to go forth to everyone
without exception. But to whom should she go
first? When we read the Gospel we find a clear
indication: not so much our friends and wealthy
neighbours, but above all the poor and the sick,
those who are usually despised and overlooked,
“those who cannot repay you” (
There can be no room for doubt or for explana-
tions which weaken so clear a message. Today
and always, “the poor are the privileged recipi-
ents of the Gospel”,
and the fact that it is freely
preached to them is a sign of the kingdom that
Jesus came to establish. We have to state, with-
out mincing words, that there is an inseparable
bond between our faith and the poor. May we
never abandon them.
49. Let us go forth, then, let us go forth to
offer everyone the life of Jesus Christ. Here I
repeat for the entire Church what I have often
said to the priests and laity of Buenos Aires: I
prefer a Church which is bruised, hurting and
dirty because it has been out on the streets, rath-
er than a Church which is unhealthy from being
confined and from clinging to its own security. I
do not want a Church concerned with being at
XVI, Address to the Brazilian Bishops in the
Cathedralof SãoPaulo,Brazil(11May2007),3:AAS99(2007),428.
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