[15- 22 JANUARY 2018]
Dear Brothers and Sisters of Chile and Peru,
As my journey to these lands approaches, I greet you warmly. I come to you as a pilgrim of the joy of the Gospel, to share the “Lord’s peace” with everyone and to “confirm you in a single hope”. Peace and hope shared among all.
I wish to meet you, to look into your eyes, to see your faces and to be able to experience together God’s closeness, his tenderness and the mercy which embraces and comforts us.
I know the history of your countries, forged with commitment and dedication. Together with you, I wish to give thanks to God for the faith and for our love for God and our neediest brothers and sisters, especially for the love you feel for those who are rejected by society. The throwaway culture has increasingly invaded us. I wish to take part in your joys, sorrows, difficulties and hopes, and to tell you that you are not alone, that the Pope is with you, that the entire Church welcomes you, that the Church looks towards you.
I wish to experience with you the peace that comes from God, which is so necessary; he alone can give it to us. It is the gift that Christ gives to each of us, the foundation of our coexistence and of society. Peace rests on justice and allows us to find occasions for communion and harmony. We must ask this of the Lord constantly and the Lord will give it to us. It is the peace of the Risen One who brings joy and encourages us to be missionaries, rekindling the gift of faith which leads us to encounter, to the shared communion of a single celebrated and communicated faith.
This encounter with the Risen Christ confirms us in hope. We do not want to be anchored to the things of this world. Our gaze goes far beyond; our eyes are fixed on his mercy which heals our miseries. He gives us the impetus to stand up and continue. Experiencing first hand this closeness to God makes us a lively community, capable of being moved by those who are at our side and of taking firm steps in friendship and fraternity. We are brothers and sisters who go to encounter others in order to confirm ourselves in a single faith and hope.
I entrust this Apostolic Journey, and all the intentions we nurture in our hearts, to the hands of the Virgin Mary, Mother of America, that as a good Mother she may welcome them and show us the path towards the Son.
See you very soon! And, please do not forget to pray for me. See you soon!
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