Notable quotations from Pope Francis and official teachings of the Roman Catholic Church
Jesus is "the evangelizer par excellence and the Gospel in person" (Evangelii Guadium, 209) His solicitude, particularly for the most vulnerable and marginalized, invites all of us to care for the frailest and to recognize His suffering countenance, especially in the victims of new forms of poverty and slavery.
The mission of the Church, herself a pilgrim in the world and the Mother of all, is ... to love Jesus Christ, to adore and love Him, particularly in the poorest and most abandoned; among these are certainly migrants and refugees, who are trying to escape difficult living condtions and dangers of every kind.
The Church opens her arms to welcome all people, without distinction or limits, in order to proclaim that "God is love" (1 Jn 4:8, 16).
From the beginning, the Church has been a mother with a heart open to the whole world, and has been without borders.
The Church without frontiers, Mother to all, spreads throughout the world a culture of acceptance and solidarity, in which no one is seen as useless, out of place or disposable. When living out this motherhood effectively, the Christian community nourishes, guides and indicates the way, accompanying all with patience, and drawing close to them through prayer and works of mercy.
The courage born of faith, hope and love enables us to reduce the distances that separate us from human misery. Jesus Christ is always waiting to be recognized in migrants and refugees, in displaced persons and in exiles, and through them He calls us to share our resources, , and occasionally to give up something of our acquired riches.
Solidarity with migrants and refugees must be accompanied by the courage and creativity necessary to develop, on a world-wide level, a more just and equitable financial and economic order, as well as an increasing commitment to peace, the indispensabble condition for all authentic progress.
Dear migrants and refugees! You have a special place in the heart of the Church, and you help her to enlarge her heart and to manifest her motherhood towards the entire human family. Do not lose your faith and hope! Let us think of the Holy Family during the flight in Egypt: Just as the maternal heart of the Blessed Virgin and the kind heart of Saint Joseph kept alive the confidence that God would never abandon them, so in you may the same hope in the Lord never be wanting.
(Source: Message for the 101st World Day of Migrants and Refugees 2015, issued 9/3/14)
Published by: Presentation Ministries, 3230 McHenry Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45211, (513) 662-5378, www.presentationministries.com