Pontifical Council for the Pastoral
Care of Migrants and Itinerant People
of the Closure of the Congress
H. E. Msgr. Joseph Kalathiparambil
Secretary of the Pontifical Council
for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People
Isaiah 30:19-21, 23-26
My dear brothers and sisters, my dear students, today is the closing day of our Congress. Yesterday we were encouraged by the words of the Holy Father. We feel our faith reconfirmed and our mission sustained.
During these four days, we have done our utmost to draw some guidelines to orientate us in order to understand this extensive and complex reality of the international students in the modern times and the mission we are called to undertake as the Church’s response.
Today’s first reading from Prophet Isaiah speaks to us about how God is disposed to listen to the people’s cry. God is patient. But man and woman must respond to His patience with trusting hope. Ancient economy of salvation has been about this patiently enduring love of God. This is truly God's ‘strange’ but upright justice, which forgives. He is always faithful, enduring and forgiving. The voice of the Lord will never fail to guide man and woman through darkness and challenges. The Word of God invites all of us, especially when we are tried by difficulties, sufferings and uncertainties, to trust in God’s forgiving and saving love. God never abandons, never deludes, never rejects. God is always faithful.
MATTHEW 9: 35 - 10: 1,5-8
In the Gospel passage today, Matthew presents the theme of the disciples as collaborators of our Lord, highlighting Jesus as the untiring pilgrim of the proclamation of the Kingdom. For Matthew, proclamation means announcement and its concrete manifestation through works of salvation. This is also the duty of the disciples: to bring the messianic salvation through word and concrete actions. Towards the beneficiaries of the proclamation, Jesus shows deep compassion. Rather, his heart was moved. Perhaps he cried like any human being for the people as they were seen in a state of abandonment like sheep without shepherd (Nm 27/17, Kings 22/17; Ex 34). Our hearts must also move towards our brothers and sisters, especially when they are deceived by modern ideologies without any reference to God, when they feel frustrated by material wealth and achievements, when they are mislead in their search for meaning in life, when they are lonely and deprived of justice.
In the Gospel passage we have seen how Jesus, the Master, confers full powers to his collaborators. Yet he delimits a precise area of missionary task. It was in response to the need of the time. To seek out those who have gone astray was not to mean that the salvation is not open for all. But Jesus wants to respond to the need of this particular time in his land. We too are called to open our eyes, read the signs of the time, understand the needs of the epoch, have wisdom and fortitude to prioritise our concerns and commitments accordingly.
One of the models of Christian vocation the Church presents to us is the life of
Saint Francis Xavier. Today in fact the Church celebrates his Memory. He
was a young man who had a vision in life and made a daring commitment to attain
it. His commitment becomes the mission. Born in