Alfredo BorbaAs only the fourth Pope to set foot on American soil, Pope Francis has sparked an interest in not only the Christian faith, but in all religion across this land. Questions like, What do I believe? Do I really believe what I say I believe? What parts of those beliefs affect my life on a daily basis? And on a larger scale, What is our responsibility to the poor, the displaced, the strangers in our midst, and those of other faiths? Or, yet again, What is our responsibility to climate change? How can we handle the economic inequity across the globe?
On September 23rd, in his speech before a joint session of Congress (http://time.com/4048176/pope-francis-us-visit-congress-transcript/), Francis graciously summarized & tackled two major areas of concern we need to address— CULTURAL ENGAGEMENT and CULTURAL WASTE.
On the matter of Cultural Engagement, he encouraged all Christians, everyone in the United States, and everywhere, to solve the world crises in immigration, of refugees in the Middle East and Europe, to seek solutions to seemingly unending regional conflicts, and to learn that differing cultural perspectives can actually serve to improve the human race rather than to further divide it. We all must engage people who are different from us, for our own sake. Otherwise our differences will lead to misunderstanding and misunderstanding to mistreatment and war. We must end our isolationism.
On the matter of Cultural Waste, Pope Francis’ deep concern was not only what we all are doing to our environment through national industrial pollution and waste byproducts, his concern was primarily with our attitude toward the humanity of humans. He called for an end to treating illegal immigrants as numbers, and called for an attitude where they are simply people, seeking a better life. He called for governments worldwide to find a solution to the massive migration of people from the Middle East and Northern Africa fleeing for their lives and for safety to European and Western borders. We dare not turn our backs on them because of their massive considerable numbers; they are people.
His admonitions should move all of us to contact our Congressmen and Representatives to STOP ignoring these tragedies as if time will simply take care of them. It will not. WE must take care of them as if God is demanding that we do it. I couldn’t agree more.
What are you being called on to do to make a difference?