Osaka (AsiaNews) - "Across the sea we are all one family," said Mgr Goro Matsuura, auxiliary bishop of Osaka and president of the Episcopal Commission for Refugees and Migrants.
Speaking on Sea Sunday, which was celebrated across the word, he explained that whilst "before God we are all truly one family," and "God loves all human beings," the recent tsunami "made us aware that even countries across the sea are neighbours because the tsunami occurred despite Chile and Japan being separated by more than 15,000 kilometres of ocean."
Therefore, "I ask you in some way to pray for seafarers" because it is not enough to think globally. Christians must act "based on the perspective of the changeless Gospel," which is "universal".
Speaking yesterday after the Angelus, Pope Francis also stressed the importance of this day. "I extend my thoughts," he said, "to seafarers, fishermen and their families. I urge Christian communities, particularly coastal ones, to be concerned and sensitive towards them. I invite chaplains and volunteers of the Apostleship of the Sea to remain committed to the pastoral care of these brothers and sisters. I entrust everyone, especially those who are in trouble and away from home, to the maternal protection of Mary, Star of the Sea."
For Mgr Goro, "Once seafarers leave port, they enter upon the great ocean and are beyond anyone's field of vision. Even while being sustainers of a substantial part of the world economy, if they were to meet with some great difficulties somewhere, the only people, almost without exception, who would worry about them and pray for them, are their loving families. I think that if before God we are all truly one family, then we should constantly keep them in mind, watch over them, and continually pray for their safety."
In view of this, "I ask you in some way to pray for seafarers and, both spiritually and through donations, that you support the activities of the people who visit those ships.
"May God always protect all those who work at sea, and after their work is done, may they always return safely to their families."