Pope Francis on Responding to the Throwaway Culture with Mercy

via Vatican Radio:

We are part of a fragmented culture, a throwaway culture.  A culture tainted by the exclusion of everything that might threaten the interests of a few.  A culture that is leaving by the roadside the faces of the elderly, children, ethnic minorities seen as a threat.  A culture that little by little promotes the comfort of a few and increases the suffering of many others.  A culture that is incapable of accompanying the young in their dreams but sedates them with promises of ethereal happiness and hides the living memory of their elders.  A culture that has squandered the wisdom of the indigenous peoples and has shown itself incapable of caring for the richness of their lands.

All of us are aware, all of us know that we live in a society that is hurting; no one doubts this.  We live in a society that is bleeding, and the price of its wounds normally ends up being paid by the most vulnerable.  But it is precisely to this society, to this culture , that the Lord sends us.  He sends us and urges us to bring the balm of “his” presence.  He sends us with one program alone: to treat one another with mercy.  To become neighbors to those thousands of defenseless people who walk in our beloved American land by proposing a different way of treating them.  A renewed way, trying to let our form of bonding be inspired by God’s dream, by what he has done.  A way of treating others based on remembering that all of us came from afar, like Abraham, and all of us were brought out of places of slavery, like the people of Israel….

Today we are asked especially to show mercy to God’s holy and faithful people – they know a lot about being merciful because they have a good memory – to the people who come to our communities with their sufferings, sorrows and hurts.  But also to the people who do not come to our communities, yet are wounded by the paths of history and hope to receive mercy.  Mercy is learned from experience – in our own lives first – as in the case of Paul, to whom God revealed all his mercy, all his merciful patience.  It is learned from sensing that God continues to trust in us and to call us to be his missionaries, that he constantly sends us forth to treat our brothers and sisters in the same way that he has treated us.  Each of us knows his or her own story and can draw from it.  Mercy is learned, because our Father continues to forgive us.