THE SERVANT GENERAL
ON POPE FRANCIS
NO ONE IN NEED - 2
Pope Francis is a man of the poor, just as St. Francis of
Assisi was. We too as CFC-FFL participate in the work of building
the Church of the Poor. We do this through the No One
In Need Movement. This is our work of building communities
among the poor.
Pope Francis emphasizes the connection between family and
home (house). Every family should have a house to live in.
Home and house bring us to our two-pronged work of renewing
families and building homes for them. These are the spiritual
and material aspects of our work with the poor. Both are important.
We cannot do just one without the other. Families reside in
homes, but so too should the Holy Spirit reside in their homes.
How will we go about the work of building homes for the poor?
As of now there are three ways. One, we set up Restoration
Villages, to the extent that we have the money (we will not
return to the massive fundraising of old). Two, we have a
tie-up with Habitat for Humanity, where we do the values and
spiritual formation for their communities, and they can also
build houses for our own beneficiaries. Three, and this is
the most prospective, we look to parishes, under the LCSC
thrust, to build their own respective communities for their
own poor, supported and funded by their own parish organizations,
with guidance and technical support from us.
We build houses for the poor; we build homes where God and
His people dwell; we build the Church of the Poor.
On Mary and Joseph
CITY, December 22, 2013 ( Zenit.org) - Here is the translation
of the Holy Father's address before and after the recitation
of the Angelus in St. Peter's Square.
brothers and sisters, hello!
this 4th Sunday of Advent, the Gospel tells us about the events
that preceded Jesus’s birth, the evangelist Matthew
presents them from the point of view of St. Joseph, the betrothed
husband of the Virgin Mary.
and Mary were living in Nazareth but they did not live together
yet because the marriage ceremony had not yet taken place.
In the meantime Mary, after having received the Angel’s
announcement, became pregnant by the work of the Holy Spirit.
When Joseph realized that she was expecting he bewildered.
The Gospel does not explain to us what his thoughts were but
it does tell us the essential: he tries to do God’s
will and is ready for the most radical renunciation. Instead
of defending himself and demanding his rights, Joseph opts
for a solution that represents an enormous sacrifice for him.
And the Gospel says: “Because he was a just man and
did not want to accuse her publicly, he decided to send here
away quietly” (1:19).
brief sentence sums up a real interior drama, if we think
of the love that Joseph had for Mary! But even such a circumstance
Joseph wants to do God’s will and resolves, surely with
deep sorrow, to part with Mary in secret. We should meditate
on these words to understand the trial that Joseph endured
in the days that preceded Jesus’ birth. It was a trial
similar to the sacrifice asked of Abraham when God asked him
for his son Isaac (Cf. Genesis 22): to give up the most precious
thing, the person he loved most.
just as in Abraham’s case, the Lord intervenes: he found
the faith that seeks and opens up a different path, a path
of love and happiness: “Joseph,” he said to him,
“do not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which
is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew
Gospel manifests to us all of Joseph’s greatness of
soul. He was pursuing a good plan for his life but God had
another design for him, a greater mission. Joseph was a man
who always listed to God’s voice, profoundly sensitive
to his hidden will, a man attentive to the messages that came
to him from the depths of his heart and from above. He did
not persist in pursuing his own plan for his life, he did
not allow rancor to poison his soul, but was ready to place
himself at the service of the thing that was presented to
him in a disconcerting way. And it was in this way that he
was a good man. He did not hate and he did not allow rancor
to poison his soul. But how often does hatred and antipathy
too, how often does rancor poison our souls! And this is bad
for us. Joseph never permits this to happen: he is a good
example of this. And in this way Joseph became freer and greater.
Accepting himself according to God’s plan, Joseph finds
himself completely, beyond himself. This freedom he has to
give up what belongs to him, the ownership of his own life,
and this total interior availability to God’s will,
grab our attention and show us the way.
us prepare ourselves to celebrate Christmas contemplating
Mary and Joseph: Mary, the woman who is full of grace, who
had the courage to entrust herself totally to the Word of
God; Joseph, the faithful and just man who preferred to believe
the Lord rather than listen to the voices of human doubt and
pride. Let us travel with them toward Bethlehem.
the recitation of the Angelus, the Holy Father greeted those
present in St. Peter’s Square:]
read there written in big letters: “The
poor cannot wait.” That’s beautiful!
And this reminds me that Jesus was born in a stable, he was
not born in a house. Afterward he had to flee, to go to Egypt
to save his life. In the end, he returned to his home, to
Nazareth. And today I think, reading that banner, of many
homeless families, whether it is because they never had one
or because they lost it for many reasons. Family
and house go together. It is very hard to
care for a family without a house to live in. In these days
of Christmas I invite everyone – people, social organizations,
[political] authorities – to do
everything possible for every family to have a house.
greet with affection all of you dear pilgrims who have come
from various countries to participate in this meeting of prayer.
My thoughts turn to the families, parish groups, associations
and individual faithful. I especially greet the Pontifical
Institute for Foreign Missions, the band from San Giovanni
Valdarno, the young people from the parish of San Francesco
Nuovo in Rieti, and the participants in the relay from Alexandria
to Rome to raise awareness about peace efforts in Somalia.
wish for all of those who have gathered here today from Italy
to show their social commitment
is that they will be able to make a constructive contribution,
rejecting the temptations of conflict and violence, and always
following the path of dialogue, defending rights.
wish everyone a good Sunday and a Christmas of hope, of justice
and of fraternity. Have a good lunch and goodbye!
by Joseph Trabbic]