Receiving an ecumenical delegation from the Lutheran Church of Finland, Francis said that "hospitality is likewise part of our shared witness of faith in daily life". The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, which begins tomorrow, "shows us this ecumenical virtue, and above all recommends it to us".
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Ecumenical dialogue serves to deepen the "being together" of the baptized, the community of which " a mere “standing beside one another”, and certainly not a “standing against one other”, but wants to become an ever fuller “standing together”.
Today's meeting with an ecumenical delegation from the Lutheran Church of Finland (pictured) on the occasion of the annual ecumenical pilgrimage to Rome, to celebrate the feast of Saint Henry, patron of the country, was an opportunity for Francis to return to underline the importance of ecumenism.
Francis said that the celebration of the Baptism of Jesus last Sunday was an occasion to remember our own Baptism. “A Christian is someone who can give thanks for his or her baptism; and this gratitude unites us within the community of all the baptized. The “baptism for the forgiveness of sins” that we profess in the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed is also a clear summons to holiness." “This gratitude links and expands our hearts, and opens them to our neighbour, who is not an adversary but our beloved brother, our beloved sister. The community of all the baptized is not a mere “standing beside one another”, and certainly not a “standing against one other”, but wants to become an ever fuller “standing together”.
"Hospitality is also part of the common witness of faith," he said. The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, which begins tomorrow, "shows us this ecumenical virtue, and above all recommends it to us". Recalling a verse from the Acts of the Apostles, Francis added: “Unity, which begins tomorrow, shows us this ecumenical virtue, and indeed recommends it to us. “They showed us unusual kindness”, says the Apostle Paul (Acts 28:2), referring to the inhabitants of the island of Malta, who received them, together with hundreds of shipwrecked people, with hospitality". “As baptized Christians, we believe that Christ wishes to meet us precisely in those who are – whether literally or figuratively – shipwrecked in life. Those who show hospitality grow richer, not poorer. Whoever gives, receives in return. For the humanity we show to others makes us in a mysterious way partakers in the goodness of the God who became man.. "