By Robin Gomes
Strive to be the face of a Church that pushes itself to the frontiers, never standing still but walking to meet the brothers and sisters who are hungering and thirsting to be welcomed, yearning for sharing, closeness and solidarity.
This was the exhortation that Pope Francis offered on Saturday to some 300 members of the “Circolo San Pietro”, a charity of Rome diocese, who brought him their collection for the Pope’s charity fund called “Peter’s Pence”.
‘Circolo San Pietro’, the Italian for St. Peter’s Circle, was founded in 1869 by a group of young lay Catholics of Rome to help the needy and the sick.
The Pontiff expressed his appreciation for the charity which he said carries out a "daily service to the most disadvantaged people of the city" of Rome, "a beautiful enterprise of assistance and help to the poor", "a shoot of the rich and fruitful "vine" of charity and an expression of the ecclesial "vineyard".
Discover the face of Christ
The Holy Father encouraged the group never to be “ashamed of the wounded flesh of the brother", but to discover the “face of Christ” in every suffering and needy person.
“Be courageous missionaries of Christian charity and never tire of bearing witness to God's mercy and goodness, becoming instruments of consolation for so many fragile and desperate people,” the Pope exhorted.
Call to holiness
He also called on the members of “Circolo San Pietro” to imitate numerous “saints of charity" and allow themselves to be stimulated by the "signs of holiness" that the Lord presents through the most humble.