testata home ENG ok

Tuesday, 01 January 2019 19:28

To find fraternity again

Surrounded by the commercial Christmas attractions let us look at the Baby of Bethlehem, the “image of the invisible God” (Col 1:15), who has come visible over 2000 years ago. Let us also remember that each one of us is created to the image of God, as it is written in the Bible (Gen 1:26), so we could become similar to Him. Only then we can see that dignity and freedom of a man was expressed long time before any philosophical dissertations or international declarations.
To avoid the reduction of God into an idol it was forbidden for a man to make any image of God. Idols  could be easily manipulated. But God made Himself to the image of a man, He shared his body and language. Therefore, God remained faithful to His plan in which He projected us “to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters” (Rm 8:29). This was realized during the Passover, when Jesus called His disciples “friends”  (John 15:15) and later, after His Passion and Death, which are human conditions, He called them “brothers” (John 20:17).
The human fraternity, therefore, appears after this birthright. It helps us understand the divine Fatherhood in a new and real way. “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” (1 John 3:1). The Greek Diogenes was searching a man, a Christian has found a brother. But when he becomes an orphan of God, a modern man at the same time seems to lose the idea of a human brotherhood.
Brotherhood, or fraternity, is still mentioned in the first article of the “Universal Declaration of Human Rights” (1948): “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood”. Therefore, this solemn Declaration wanted almost to exorcise the catastrophes of the Second World War, which had just finished, to make the first step towards the “common ideals” – liberty, equality and fraternity. It was like believing that “the reason and the conscience” could really induce people to act in the spirit of fraternity one to another.
The 70th Anniversary of the Declaration (10th of December) was remembered as the point of reference which is still indispensable, despite the fact of being constantly violated or even negated. The text of the Declaration has foreseen that the way to reach the ideal will be fraught with contradictions and inconsistencies, therefore it recommended  to “strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction”.
Two days after this solemn Anniversary, 12 December, in Marrakech the Intergovernmental Conference approved the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. During the Angelus on 16 December Pope Francis commented on this event and he said he hopes  that “ thanks to this instrument, [the international community] will be able to work with responsibility, solidarity and compassion toward those who, for various reasons, have left their own country” without making any distinction between who is an immigrant and who is a refugee. What can emerge from this work with responsibility, solidarity and compassion  that the Pope recommends? Once fraternity, this Christian concept of brotherhood that unites each and every human being, is lost, solidarity and compassion are also put into danger. And it can happen not only when sentiments are lead by either individual or collective interests and egoisms, but also when “the other” is not the one that arouses sympathy and tenderness for himself, and therefore, taking responsibility for him becomes a real burden. But Saint Paul recommended “carry each others’ burdens” (Gal 6:2).
As we can see the Christmas message of the Pope this year is concentrated on the topic of fraternity: ”God is a good Father and we are all brothers and sisters. This truth is the basis of the Christian vision of humanity. Without the fraternity that Jesus Christ has bestowed on us, our efforts for a more just world fall short, and even our best plans and projects risk being soulless and empty.”
Read 371 times Last modified on Wednesday, 02 January 2019 19:36

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter all the required information, indicated by an asterisk (*). HTML code is not allowed.

Contacts

homeVia Appia Antica 226
00178 Rome (Italy)

tel

+39 06 78 44 11

icona fax+39 06 78 44 11 217

mailThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

About Us

Union “St. Catherine of Siena” of School Missionaries is a Dominican Religious Congregation.
We are called to accompany our contemporaries along their path with study and prayer and to seek along with them Gospel’s answers to the questions of our complex, multicultural society.
We want to live therefore coherently a Christianity of frontiers and be yeast and salt of the least visibility yet cause to leaven and give flavor.  
 By continuing to use this site you consent to the use of cookies on your browser as described in our cookie policy unless you have disabled them. You can change your cookie settings in your browser at any time but parts of our site will not function correctly without them.