Welcome to Trastevere, the heart of the city of Rome, district of the old harbor and still today a landing place for many pilgrims, tourists, travelers and migrants.
It is a grace to be able to welcome every day in our home and in our prayer people from everywhere. Being Roman is indeed a unique vocation.
We thank you for being here with us for this anniversary. We are really happy and grateful for your presence!
With You we do not want to look at the past years, we want to look to the future of a community which goes forth moving towards the outskirts of the city and the world. The city has always been our horizon, from our very start.
Particularly the hidden and unknown places of the city, made of poverty and exclusion.
Andrea Riccardi and his friends met the first children of the School of Peace next to the Tiber riverbed. They were living shacks hidden by posters which were put in certain places of Rome during the Olympics Games in 1960.
Where was the Church among those people? Where was God in those places? This is why, together with the School of Peace, we began to open the Gospel making Jesus present among those abandoned people.
The Gospel in the city. The Gospel for everyone! No one excluded.
The Word was our compass, the city our horizon.
From the communication of the Gospel comes the fruit that you see today.
We all owe the Word of God, “lamp for our steps” (as we entitled this day) and the Holy Spirit. The Word has freed us from ideology and from the temptation of self-referentiality.
God is not a dream, his Word is not a dream but enable us be dreamers, as Psalm 126 says: “when the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dreamed”. The Word made of us, men and women with small horizons, dreamers. Together with the Word, the poor – masters in many occasions – became our brothers and sisters.
How sad it is to see a Church treating the poor as clients and not as brothers!
Holy Father, we thank you, for with your words and actions you put the poor at the very heart of the Church, fulfilling Pope John’s dream: a Church of all particular of the poor.
In your person we found a father and a brother, because within You paternity and fraternity are united, while the Church is our Mother.
This Community is not for somebody or something, but for everyone. This is what Jesus thought us, he who poured his blood for each and every person.
While men tend to exclude the others (it has been done with the jews, black persons, gypsies, refugees), Jesus loves everybody: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Mt.11,28) – he said. He “may have mercy on them all”, St Paul reminds us (Rm.11,32). Everyone: not just someone, not many, but all. Without exceptions. Here lays the horizon we want to look at while communicating the Gospel.
We receive this teaching from You and your daily preaching. It is with You that we dream for a Church which can be a people with everyone, no one excluded. May the Lord’s mercy touch the heart of each and everyone, without exclusions.