FIRST DAY REFLECTION: INTRODUCTION: WHAT IS A SOCIAL ENCYCLICAL
We are all brothers and sisters. This is the literal translation of the Pope Francis latest social encyclical entitled “Fratelli Tutti”. It is based on Saint Francis word of mouth where Pope Francis draws its inspiration to write this social encyclical. An encyclical came from the Latin word encyclius which means circular or general. Social encyclical is Pope’s letter addressed to the whole humanity, Catholics, Christians, non Christians and people with good will.
Fratelli Tutti which was signed by the Pope on October 4, 2020 was greatly influenced by His historical State Visit to Dubai especially his heart to heart talk with the Grand Imam of Dubai when they embraced with each other as he heard him saying we are brothers.
The major issue that is fairly dealt is a vision of the world without borders. He proposed not only to end war and terrorism but a global sharing of opportunities and resources. He is specially pleading for the poor and handicapped. He exhorts a counter cultural society. Rich countries should not assert their manipulation and dictate of global culture such as consumerism, powerful countries but a culture focused on charity and simplicity.
While this encyclical is being developed, corona virus- 19 unexpectedly crushed the whole world. The Pope saw this situation more than just a pandemic paralyzing us but he perceived it as a blessing. We have common experience. Rich and poor countries are both struggling. We have one and the same problem to solve and it calls for an international collective response. This is how to become brothers and sisters. We have common identity. My struggle is your struggle so let us help each other go through it. This is the very first time when television networks have but one the same story to tell and spread. We are indeed brothers and sisters.
The meaning of Emmanuel is God is with us. He is coming not only to save us but to be intimately one with one us. He wanted to become one with our struggles, hopes and dreams in our life especially with the poor. It is the very spirit of the food bank campaign. We have a heart for the destitute. The Holy Eucharist that we are celebrating unites us together with our heavenly Father.
During this 9 day novena masses, we will journey together as one family. We will pray and walk hand in hand together and we will receive the one body and blood of Christ. I know that all of us have important intentions to ask from the Lord. Let us pray for one another, let us pray for those who need most of our prayers.
Let us be like sinners in the gospel. They feel unworthy before the Lord but they listened attentively and eventually received blessings from the Lord, gift of healing and love work for them.