Pope Benedict mentioned today in his weekly Angelus message those fleeing persecution and violation of their human rights.
My translation of the Italian:
“To all peoples exhausted by misery and hunger, to the throngs of refugees, who suffer grave and systematic violations of their rights, the Church places herself as a sentinel on a high mountain of faith and announces: ‘Here is your God! Here the Lord God comes with power’ (Is 40,11)”
He then goes on to speak of hope:
“Christian hope exceeds the legitimate waiting for social and political liberation, because that which Jesus began is a new humanity, that comes ‘from God’, but at the same time grows in this our land, in the measure in which our land lets itself grow fertile through the Holy Spirit……Justice and peace, in fact, are gifts of God, but require men and women who are ‘good soil’, ready to receive the good seed of his Word.”
The Church always seems to hold in tension aspects of the Gospel and Christian life.
The tension between working diligently in the social and political arenas for justice and peace in our world, and the realization that any advancement in these areas is a gift of God to his people.
The tension between expectant waiting for the Lord and actively embracing him as already present in the conditions of the poor and needy.
The tension between prayer and work, faith and good works, the contemplative and the active.
I have always appreciated the Pope’s messages about hope. The lost virtue for so many years it would seem. A needed commodity in today’s world. A necessity for those who suffer persecution, exile and homelessness, for those who have left “home” and don’t know where they belong anymore, be it loss of shelter or loss of spiritual home.