Commentary on the Gospel of
Bringing Bones Back to Life
The third encyclical of Pope Francis, Fratelli Tutti, was released when the entire world was suffering through the Covid-19 pandemic, bewildered, helpless, and clueless. It was also a time (and it still is) when hypernationalism, narrowing of boundaries, rejection of migrants, extreme polarization in national discourse, religious persecution, etc., were on the upswing. The world felt like the dry bones in the vision of Ezekiel. We felt dead. Life was sucked out of us, literally and figuratively. What can bring us back to life? The readings of the day tell us that a return to the ways of love – loving God and loving neighbor as ourselves – alone can put on sinews, flesh, and skin back on the dry bones and breathe life into them. Love alone can triumph over the power of death: Placing God right at the center of our lives and then practicing fraternity and social friendship with all, transcending boundaries and sharing resources, as the encyclical advices us.