In his words, he expressed his closeness to the numerous migrants, refugees and those in need of protection in Libya. He assures them that he never forgets them. That he hears their cries and prays for them.
He went further to maintain that there is need to end the sending back of Migrants to countries which are not safe, and that the rescuing of life at the sea should be prioritized.
While he was speaking from the window of the Apostolic Palace, he requested the Catholic pilgrims who were present in St. Peter’s Square to pray in the silence of their heart for migrants, owing to the fact that many of them have been subjected to “inhumane violence.”
He beckoned on the international body to keep its promises in seeking for common, concrete and lasting solutions for the care of migratory flow in Libya, as well as the whole Mediterranean.
In the recent past, Libya has been known as one of the main crossover points for migrants coming from Africa and the Middle East, for want of better life in Europe.
Included in this appeal of the Holy Father, is the call for a “safe and reliable rescue and disembarkation equipment,” as well as an alternative decent and conducive living condition for their detention.
Pope Francis remarked the essence of ensuring “access to asylum procedures” and the establishment of regular migration routes.
He bids all to feel some sense of responsibility for these our brothers and sisters who have been victims of this very serious situation for so many years.
Added to the injunction above is the Pope's Angelus address where he reflected on the Gospel account of Jesus restoring sight to Bartimaeus, a blind man begging by the roadside.
The reflection are as follows:
The blindness of Bartimaeus was just a foretaste, because there could possibly be other difficulties and problems associated with his situation, like: wounds, humiliations, broken dreams, mistakes, remorse in his heart, etc.
As the Gospel of Mark recorded, Bartimaeus called out to Jesus and said: “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me.”
As Pope Francis has it: Jesus hears, and immediately stops. God is always at alert to listen to the cry of the poor. For in the cry of Bartimaeus, He realizes that it is a cry that has full faith, a faith that is not afraid to insist, and one that is afraid to knock on the door of God’s heart.
The pope remarked that Bartimaeus asked “for everything from the One who can do everything.”
Pope Francis then gave an encouragement note to the people, which entails their making the prayer of Bartimaeus their own by bringing their own "wounds, humiliations, broken dreams, mistakes, remorse” to God in prayer and repeating: “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me.”
In Jesus we must pour out our need, because it is Him who can do everything. He is always waiting to rain down His grace and joy into our hearts. The problem then is found in the way we keep our distance from Him, through timidity, laziness or unbelief.
May we learn from Bartimaeus, especially may his concrete, insistent and courageous faith be an example for us.
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