Final appeal from the President of Meeting Foundation Emilia Guarnieri for the cause of persecuted christians all over the world
Meeting for Friendship Among People 34 edition opened this morning with the Holy Mass chaired by Francesco Lambiasi, Rimini’s bishop, and co-celebrated by don Stefano Alberto and don Alberto Battaglia. Auditorium D5 was packed, as the near D3 room in audio-visual connection.
Before the start of the celebration, president of Meeting Foundation Emilia Guarnieri read the message sent by Pope Francis to the Meeting by cardinal Tarcisio Bertone. The topic of the Human Person: a State of Emergency, Bertone writes, capture “the urgency of evangelization” lying in the heart of the Holy Father. In our world too, increasingly globalized and without stables points of reference, the Church looks for the human person. “The human person – is the Pope’s thought – is the Church’s way, because it is the way walked through by God Himself”, till the peak of Incarnation. The human person, “mistery of freedom and grace, of poverty and greatness, not reducible to any image that the secular power could try to impose” is at the centre of Church mission. There where “economic, political and media power tries to manipulate people, to induce desires, to erase the most precious thing human person has, the relationship with God” it is necessary to “return the human person to himself, to his high dignity, to say strongly that only in the relationship with God he can reach his real stature”. The Church safeguards “the most authentic possibility of human person’s fulfillment, anytime and anywhere”. A precious treasure that everyone, consciously or not, is looking for. Its mission then is to serve the human person going out to look for him, “by imitating the divine Master which has left his sky to become a man and be near to everyone”. Only remaining itself the Church may achieve this path: coming back urgently to Christ, in order to learn from Him “the truth about ourselves and the world”.
Pope Francis wishes for Meeting days able to” light up the hearts of participants with a fire feeding and sustaining their Gospel’s witness in the world”. An invitation echoed by Monsignor Lambiasi’s homily that was centered on Jesus’ fervent desire that the fire of the Spirit doesn’t dampen in our days: “I have come to bring fire upon the earth and how I wish it were already kindled” (Lc 12,49). Among time marks, nearby the faith’s cooling down under a sated and bored living, one can glimpse a new Spirit’s blow which is reawakening the secular world, “a giant asleep”. Towards the Christ, to his ardent passion for the human person, one can’t remain aloof. It’s unavoidable to take a stance: getting far or letting oneself succumb to the flame of his love. The price for the mission, monsignor Lambiasi remembers, is going after Him radically”.
Wonderful enrichment of the liturgical celebration, the songs performed by the choir of Communion and Liberation in Rimini were directed by Anastasia Gemmani: contemplation of the mystery of the human heart, praise of the tenderness of Christ and the beauty of Mary, songs of fighting and manly call to battle (“Estote fortes” by Luca Marenzio). On the screen, such as altarpieces, flow sweet and virile representations of the face of Christ, the true image of man’s face.
At the end of Mass, the president of the Foundation Meeting for friendship among peoples Emilia Guarnieri launches an appeal on behalf of persecuted Christians around the world. “It is the beating heart of the Meeting with the whole Church for the brothers persecuted for the faith.” Guarnieri at the beginning of this new edition invites everyone to sign the initiative created by the cry of Pope Francis, “which aims to ask the national institutions and international bodies to do everything possible to defend, protect and guarantee the existence of Christians in the world and recognize their basic right to search for truth and the testimony, preventing any restriction of their freedom of expression and association. ”
An appeal fully in line with the title of the 2013 “Emergency man” and conforms to the message of Pope Francis, who at this time of economic crisis and human wants to bring man to his true worth stressing the need for a new evangelization. Why, the Pope says, “The man remains a mystery, irreducible to any image that it is formed in society and the world power seeks to impose.”