Why do I find listening to Pope Francis so fitting today? Here are some snippets from “Fratelli Tutti,” his extended reflection on the parable of the Good Samaritan. Not only are individuals called to love their neighbor. Nations and politicians are too.
We’re facing a pandemic, but we’re not working together to deal with this common threat to humanity. “ For all our hyper-connectivity, we witness a fragmentation that made it more difficult to resolve problems that affect us all.” We facing a changed world, and all the nations of the world need to work together, as neighbors, not as individuals. Not grudgingly, but dreaming together.
Here are the pope’s comments on politics today. “Today, in many countries, hyperbole, extremism and polarization have become political tools. Employing a strategy of ridicule, suspicion and relentless criticism, in a variety of ways one denies the right of others to exist or to have an opinion. Their share of the truth and their values are rejected and, as a result, the life of society is impoverished and subjected to the hubris of the powerful. Political life no longer has to do with healthy debates about long-term plans to improve people’s lives and to advance the common good, but only with slick marketing techniques primarily aimed at discrediting others. In this craven exchange of charges and counter-charges, debate degenerates into a permanent state of disagreement and confrontation.”
The politicians, the media, Facebook, etc… are blaring away. Why can’t we ” dream, then, as a single human family, as fellow travelers sharing the same flesh, as children of the same earth which is our common home, each of us bringing the richness of his or her beliefs and convictions, each of us with his or her own voice, brothers and sisters all.”
True? Seem to me it is. “Love your neighbor as yourself,” Jesus tells us in today’s gospel..