http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/images/size340/Pope_Francis_greets_pilgrims_in_St_Peters_Square_during_his_Wednesday_general_audience_on_June_18_2014_Credit_Daniel_Ibez_CNA_2_CNA_6_18_14.jpgVatican City, Nov 16, 2014 / 09:23 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis made an appeal for peace and dialogue with members of immigrant communities in his remarks after the weekly recitation of the Angelus in Saint Peter’s Square on Sunday.
The Pope cited recent tensions in Rome between residents and immigrants, which echoed tensions in other European cities. He called on civil institutions at all levels to prioritize this “social emergency” which will continue to degenerate if not adequately addressed. The Christian community, moreover, has the responsibility of to address the issue of immigration, not through confrontation, but through encounter. “It is possible to dialogue, to listen, to make plans together,” he said, thereby overcoming “suspicion and prejudice” in order to build “a coexistence that is always more safe, peaceful, and inclusive.” Speaking to the crowds before the Angelus prayer, Pope Francis also reflected on the Gospel reading for the day in which Jesus tells the parable of the talents. In the parable, a man going on a trip gives talents to his three servants: two of them invest the talents, while the third buries the one talent he has received. “It is clear that the man of the parable represents Jesus,” the Pope said, and we are the servants. The talents, in turn are “(God’s) Word, the Eucharist, faith in the Heavenly Father, his forgiveness . . . in short, his most precious riches.” God has entrusted this “inheritance” to us, he said, not simply to protect it, “but to increase it!” The servant in the parable who hides his talent, he said, symbolizes the fear of taking risks which, in turn, “blocks creativity and the fruitfulness of love.” “Jesus does not ask us to preserve his grace in a safe!” he continued. Rather, “all the goods which we have received are meant to be given to others, and thus grow.” God tells us to recognize his mercy, his tenderness, and his forgiveness, and then make use of these graces, Pope Francis explained before asking several questions for reflection: “And what have we done? Who have we ‘infected’ with our faith? How many persons have we encouraged with our hope? How much love have we shared with our neighbor? We would do well to ask these questions.” Pope Francis said these talents are able to bear fruit even in the “most distant and impractical” of environments, and that there no situation or place which impedes “the Christian presence and witness.” “This parable urges us not to hide our faith and our affinity to Christ,” he said, but rather to “circulate it in our life, in relationships, in concrete situations.” Pope Francis recommended that the faithful to read the day’s Gospel, from the Gospel of Matthew, 25:14-30. He told them to ask themselves whether they allow the gift they have received to grow in others, or if they “guard it within a safe?” Before leading the faithful in the recitation of the Angelus, Pope Francis said that the Virgin Mary “incarnates this attitude” of giving to others what has been received “in the most beautiful and full way.” Mary “received and welcomed the most sublime gift, Jesus in person, and in turn offered him to humanity with a generous heart.” The Pope invoked her intercession to help us be “good and faithful servants,” in order to participate in “the joy of our Lord.”