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Pope: Embrace your vulnerabilities!

Addressing participants in the conference “The Chair of Welcome”, on “vulnerability, and community between welcome and inclusion”, Pope Francis described the programme of the conference as “rich and interesting”.

At the centre of the conference, the Pope noted, was vulnerability “considered in all its forms”.

“I appreciate this choice”, noted the Pope, before offering some points of reflection to go forward in this evangelical mission.

Vulnerable and welcomed by Christ

The first is that “to welcome vulnerable brothers and sisters requires that I feel vulnerable and welcomed as such by Christ”, because, the Pope noted, “if we remain in Him, like branches in the vine, we will bear good fruit, even in this vast field of acceptance”.

A second cue, the Pope continued, is that Jesus spent most of his public ministry, especially in Galilee, in contact with the poor and sick of all kinds. “This tells us that, for us, vulnerability cannot be a ‘politically correct’ issue, or a mere organization of practices, however good”.

Remain anchored in the Gospel

Pope Francis invited those present to “remain firmly anchored in the Gospel, in Jesus, who did not teach his disciples to plan a care of the sick and the poor”. It is in this way that the Holy Spirit forms men and women who became saints, explained the Pope, so that they love vulnerable people like Jesus

The third and final reflection is that in the Gospel, the poor, the vulnerable, are not objects, they are protagonists together with Jesus in the proclamation of the Kingdom of God. Quoting one story, Pope Francis then invites us to think of Mary Magdalene: “She, who was tormented by seven demons, became the first witness of the risen Jesus”.

Going forth in mission

Concluding his address, Pope Francis notes that vulnerable people, “encountered and welcomed with Christ’s grace and style, can be a gospel presence in the believing community and society”.

Finally, Pope Francis invites all his dear brothers and sisters present to go forth in their mission, accompanied always by Our Lady.

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