© Vatican Media

Estonia: Pope Encourages Charitable Workers to 'Continue Going Out'

‘The greatest joy of the Lord is to see us reborn.’

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Pope Francis gave powerful encouragement to the charitable workers of the Church in Estonia on September 25, 2018, when he visited the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul in Tallinn.
It was the fourth and last day of his Sept. 22-25, 2018, trip to the Baltic Nations of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia.
Those at the Cathedral included more than 100 workers in various charities serving people with problems of alcohol, disadvantaged people, and single mothers.  The group included the Missionary Sisters of Charity and Caritas, as well as families who have been aided.
“The greatest joy of the Lord is to see us reborn,” the Pope said. “That is why he keeps giving us new opportunities, new chances. We see how important relationships are, feeling that we belong to one another, that all life is valuable, and that we are prepared to stake our lives on that.
“So I would invite you to continue creating bonds. To continue going out into the neighborhoods and saying to all sorts of people: ‘You, and you and you, are part of our family!’ Jesus called the disciples, and today too he calls each of us, dear brothers and sisters, to continue sowing seeds of his Kingdom, passing it on. He’s counting on your histories, your lives and your hands, to go through the city and to share the same experience you have had.”
Following is the full text of the Pope’s remarks, provided by the Vatican:
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Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Thank you for welcoming me to your home this afternoon. I think it is important to make this visit and to spend time here with you.
Thank you for your witness and for sharing with us the things closest to your heart.
First of all, I would like to congratulate you, Marina, and your husband, for the beautiful testimony that you gave us. You have been blessed with nine children, with all the sacrifices that that entails, as you clearly told us. Wherever there are children and young people, many sacrifices have to be made, but even more important, there is future, joy, and hope. So it is comforting to hear you say: “We thank the Lord for the communion and the love that reigns in our house”. In this land, where the winters are bitter, you do not lack the most important warmth, that of the home, the warmth born from being together as a family. With disagreements and problems? Certainly! But also the hope and desire to move forward together. Yours are not just pretty words, but a clear example.
Thank you too, for sharing the testimony of those sisters who were not afraid to go out to where you were, in order to be a sign of the closeness and the outstretched hand of our God.
When faith is unafraid to leave comfort behind, to take a risk and dare to take a step, it shows the clear meaning of those beautiful words of the Master: “that you love one another, just as I have loved you” (Jn 13:34). With a love that shatters the chains that keep us isolated and separate, and instead builds bridges. With a love that enables us to create one big family, where all of us can feel at home, as in this home. With a love that exudes compassion and dignity.
A faith that is missionary goes, like these sisters, through the streets of our cities, our neighborhoods and our communities, telling people with very concrete actions: “You are part of our family, of God’s big family in which all of us have a place. Don’t stay outside.
I believe that that is the miracle that you, Vladimir, talked to us about. You met brothers and sisters who made it possible for your heart to be stirred and to realize that the Lord never stopped tirelessly seeking you, to clothe for his party (cf. Lk 15:22), to realize with joy that each one of us is his beloved son or daughter. The greatest joy of the Lord is to see us reborn. That is why he keeps giving us new opportunities, new chances. We see how important relationships are, feeling that we belong to one another, that all life is valuable, and that we are prepared to stake our lives on that.
So I would invite you to continue creating bonds. To continue going out into the neighborhoods and saying to all sorts of people: “You, and you and you, are part of our family!” Jesus called the disciples, and today too he calls each of us, dear brothers and sisters, to continue sowing seeds of his Kingdom, passing it on. He’s counting on your histories, your lives and your hands, to go through the city and to share the same experience you have had. Can he count on you? Thank you for this time you have given me.
Thank you for your words of witness. I would now like to give you my blessing so that the Lord can continue to work miracles through your hands. And please, don’t forget to pray for me!
[01445-EN.01] [Original text: Italian] © Libreria Editrice Vatican

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Jim Fair

Jim Fair is a husband, father, grandfather, writer, and communications consultant. He also likes playing the piano and fishing. He writes from the Chicago area.

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