Fratelli Tutti 77: Starting Anew

Coming to the end of his reflection on the characters in the Good Samaritan parable, Pope Francis discusses “Starting anew.” He begins with the encouragement to recognize one’s responsibilities, especially those shared with others:

77. Each day offers us a new opportunity, a new possibility. We should not expect everything from those who govern us, for that would be childish. We have the space we need for co-responsibility in creating and putting into place new processes and changes. Let us take an active part in renewing and supporting our troubled societies.

What does this have to do with the Samaritan story? First, to look to the concerns of other people rather than just our own, something that has been a struggle for some Americans during the pandemic and political unrest:

Today we have a great opportunity to express our innate sense of fraternity, to be Good Samaritans who bear the pain of other people’s troubles rather than fomenting greater hatred and resentment. Like the chance traveler in the parable, we need only have a pure and simple desire to be a people, a community, constant and tireless in the effort to include, integrate and lift up the fallen. We may often find ourselves succumbing to the mentality of the violent, the blindly ambitious, those who spread mistrust and lies. Others may continue to view politics or the economy as an arena for their own power plays. For our part, let us foster what is good and place ourselves at its service.

The aspiring disciple asks, “Who is my neighbor?” The question follows another regarding the core of Jesus’ most important teaching. For the Christian, what is central is how one relates to God and people. Jesus sees his disciples being people of orthopraxis above following orthodoxy. That might indeed be a new start for some of us.

All citations of Fratelli Tutti (which can be found on this link) are © Copyright – Libreria Editrice Vaticana

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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