By Irudhaya Jothi
Rome, Nov 7 2019: In the poor you have the privilege to encounter Christ, Pope told a group of Jesuit social activists.
Pope Francis addressed the Jesuit social activists in a private audience at Vatican on November 7.
Around 210 Jesuit social activists and lay collaborators have gathered at the Jesuit curia for their five-day global congress to celebrate the golden Jubilee of Social Justice and Ecology secretariat with the theme; A journey of Justice and Reconciliation: 50 years and beyond.
They met the Pope on the fourth day.
Jesuit superior general Father Arturo Sosa presents the mementos to the Pope and explained the context of this global congress.
The delegates have come from 63 countries form all over the world.
The Jesuit Pope addressed the gathering and encouraged them to be bridges and communicate hope.
He recalled that it was Jesuit Superior General Father Pedro Arrupe, who created what was then called the Jesuit Secretariat for Socio-Economic Development, in 1969.
The Pope said, Arrupe was a man of prayer, a man who fought with God every day, and there is born this strong statement, that the service of faith and The promotion of justice could not be separated.
The Jesuit Pope continued, “Father Pedro always believed that the service of faith and the promotion of justice cannot be separated, because they are radically united”.
For Arrupe said Pope, all the ministries of the Society had to respond, at the same time, to the challenge of announcing the faith and promoting Justice.
Quoting the Formula of the Institute Pope said, From the time of Saint Ignatius, the Society of Jesus was called “to serve the poor,” said the Pope.
The Pope said, “It is a precious gift to meet Him among those who are victims and impoverished”.
He told us the audience, “Our broken and divided world needs to build bridges”, he said. Human encounters allow us to discover, in the most marginalized, the beautiful face of a brother and sister, in whom we recognize ourselves, said the Pope.
Concerning the ecological crisis he said, “Never have we so hurt and mistreated our common home as we have in the last two hundred years”. Not surprisingly, he said, “the deterioration of the environment and of society affects the most vulnerable people on the planet”.
The Pope urged, “We need a true ‘cultural revolution’”, he said, “a transformation of our collective gaze, our attitudes, our ways of seeing ourselves”. We need to undertake “the slow work of changing structures, through participation in public dialogue, where decisions are made that affect the lives of the most vulnerable”
The Jesuit Pope insisted, “creative commitment” in the service of the poorest and refugees, defending human rights and providing social services in many fields. He encouraged them to “collaborate in a network among yourselves and with other ecclesial and civil organizations,, said Pope Francis, in order to ensure “the defense of the most underprivileged in this increasingly globalized world”.
He encouraged to keep the hope alive saying, “If we pay attention to human logic alone, we run the risk of despairing”, he said. Instead, “all of us are witnesses that the humblest, the exploited, the poor and excluded, can and do achieve a lot”, he added.
The social apostolate is not to solve problems, said the Pope, “but to promote processes and to encourage hope”. These processes must help people and communities to grow, to be aware of their rights, to apply their talents, and create their own future, he said.
The pope as a final word of advise said, “Share your hope wherever you are, encourage, console, comfort and invigorate. Open up the future, raise possibilities, generate alternatives, help to think and act differently”.
“Walk singing”, said the Pope, “so that life’s struggles and worries… don’t take away the joy that hope brings”.
Calcutta Jesuit Father Xavier Jeyaraj, secretary of social justice and ecology secretariat presented the Holy Father the materials of the Congress which contains a book on n the 57 martyr s in the last 50 years.
Jesuit Jose Kariakkattil, a delegate from Patna province, said he experienced a holy atmosphere and felt happy to have met the Pope.
‘I cannot believe my eyes, my mind and body is frozen’ expressed Yogita Christopher a Sri Lanks delegates as she was standing in line to meet the Holy Father Francis.
A young Jesuit Albino Ribeiro Goncalves from Timor-Leste expressed joy in and said, “I like the way pope interacted with us and am touched by what what he said, Pray and be a bridge not just make a bridge for poor”