“The fraternal and institutional dialogue between Jews and Christians is now well-established and effective, made so by encounters that are ongoing and collaborative.”
Pope Francis made this observation to a group of rabbis, led by Rabbi Abraham Skorka, the Pontiff’s dear friend from Buenos Aires, for a special presentation of the Torah, stressing the gift of the torah which they present him with today “is fully a part of this dialogue, which finds expression not only in words, but also in gestures.”
This “new and precious” edition of the Torah, the Holy Father said, “brings us together today around the Torah as the Lord’s gift, his revelation, his word.”
Recalling that Saint John Paul II called the Torah the “living teaching of the living God” (Address for the Twenty-fifth Anniversary of the Declaration “Nostra Aetate”, 6 December 1990, 3), Francis stressed it manifests “the paternal and visceral love of God, a love shown in words and concrete gestures, a love that becomes covenant.”
The very word covenant, the Jesuit Pope recalled, is resonant with associations that bring us together, noting that God is the greatest and most faithful covenantal partner.
“God,” Francis explained, “desires a world in which men and women are bound to him and as a result live in harmony among themselves and with creation.
“In the midst of so many human words that lead to tragic division and rivalry,” he continued, “these divine words of covenant open before all of us paths of goodness to walk together.”
The Pontiff applauded their publication as a fruit of a “covenant” between persons of different nationalities, ages and religious confessions, who joined in this common effort.
After underscoring that every edition of sacred Scripture “possesses a spiritual value that infinitely surpasses its material value,” Francis asked God to bless all those who have contributed to the work.
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