33 Years Ago Today – Papa Luciani on: “Who Is Our Neighbor?”

Thirty-three years ago today, Pope John Paul I in his Wednesday general audience had this to say about “Who is my neighbor?”

Then there is our neighbor… But our neighbor is at three levels: some are above us; some are at our level; some are below. Above, there are our  parents. The catechism said: respect them, love them, obey them. The Pope must instill respect and obedience in children for their parents….Heat and food are not enough, there is the heart; we must think of the heart of our old people. The Lord said that parents must be respected and loved, even when they are old. And besides our parents, there is the State, there are superiors. May the Pope recommend obedience?…..

Then there are our equals. And here there are usually two virtues to observe: justice and charity. But charity is the soul of justice. We must love our neighbor, the Lord recommended it so much. I always recommend not only great acts of charity, but little ones…..

Then there are those who are smaller than we are; there are children, the sick, even sinners. As bishop, I was very close even to those who do not believe in God. I formed the idea that they often combat not God, but the mistaken idea they have about God. How much mercy it is necessary to have! And even those who err… We must really be in place of ourselves….. the Lord loves humility so much that, sometimes, he permits serious sins. Why? In order that those who committed these sins may, after repenting  remain humble….. Lowly, lowly: this is the Christian virtue which concerns ourselves.

Read the entire message at: www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_i/audiences/documents/hf_jp-i_aud_06091978_en.html

Luciani taught us that obedience, justice with a charitable heart, and humility are the road to sanctity. He lived that life well. For that reason, I believe his sanctity is evident and should be held up for our imitation and veneration.

Papa Luciani, pray for us!

About Deacon Bob

Moderator: Deacon Bob Yerhot of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester, Minnesota.
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