Homily of his Holiness at the Votive Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary de la Garde
At the votive Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary de la Garde on 23 September 2023, the Holiness urged the faithful to always remember, even in the Church, that :
“God is relational and often visits us through human encounters, when we know how to be open to others, when there is a “stirring” within us in favour of those who pass us every day, and when our hearts do not remain impassive and insensitive before the wounds of the fragile. Our major cities and many European countries like France, where different cultures and religions coexist, are a strong force against the excesses of individualism, selfishness and rejection that generate loneliness and suffering. Let us learn from Jesus how to stir ourselves to help those who live nearby.
Let us learn from him who is moved to compassion before a weary and exhausted crowd (cf. Mk 6:34) and “leaps with mercy” before the wounded flesh of those he meets. As one of your great saints, Vincent de Paul, exhorts, “we should, then, soften our hearts and make them aware of the sufferings and miseries of our neighbour. We should beg God to give us that spirit of mercy which is the very Spirit of God himself,” to the point of recognizing that the poor are “our lords and masters” (Correspondance, entretiens, documents, Paris 1920-25, 341; 392-393).”