This Gospel passage is generally regarded as a parable, but this is not accurate. It belongs to the genre called judgment scene, found both in the Bible (cf. Dan 7) and in rabbinic literature. The aim of this literary genre is not to inform about what will happen at the end of the world, but to teach how to behave today.
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What exactly is social friendship? Pope Francis gives several indications in Fratelli tutti to help define the term. "A love capable of transcending borders is the basis of what in every city and country can be called 'social friendship'. Genuine social friendship within a society makes true universal openness possible," he writes (FT, 99).
One might wonder about the justice of unequal distribution of the talent among the servants. However, it is not what one receives that counts, but what one does with what he/she has received. The Master’s delight and offer of reward are the same towards his servants who doubled their talents. God looks not at the quantity of our offerings, but at their quality as well as the attitude with which we offer.
The Encyclical “Fratelli Tutti” aims at promoting a universal aspiration toward fraternity and social friendship. This papal document focuses on human solidarity and charity, following the model of Good Samaritan, towards one’s own neighbour, who is in global health emergency. The encyclical calls for more human fraternity and solidarity, and is a plea to reject wars.
In the early Christian communities, there was a widespread belief that Jesus would return very soon to catch up with his disciples and introduce them in the Father’s kingdom. Paul also shared this idea. From where did it come from? How did it begin? It is spontaneous and natural to imagine that one’s generation would be the last and the world ends with us.
In the universe we know, the world to which we long for does not exist. To satisfy the need for the infinite that God has put in our heart, it is necessary to leave this land and embark on a new exodus. We are asked for a new exit, the last—death—and this frightens us.
Among the people who appeared in this world, only Christ has possessed the fullness of this force of goodness and only he can be declared saint, as we sing in the Gloria: “You alone are holy.” But we, too, can rise up to him and become partakers of his holiness.
As parishes re-open to varying extents – and with a range of anti-viral measures from face-shields to people scattered by tape in near empty benches, many clergy note that the numbers have not returned to the pre-COVID-19 level. The preferred explanation seems to be that now is still not 'normality' and that many are fearful about a church gathering as a potential source of infection.
Today there are believers, people in the Church, who fulfill all religious practices, but at the same time worship their bank account, social position, honorary titles, career, power and their ambitions. They have indeed a “divided heart”; they do not love with all their heart, as Jesus claims.
The Holy See and China have renewed their deal over the appointment of bishops for a further two years. In a statement, the Vatican explained that “both parties agreed to extend the experimental implementation phase of the Provisional Agreement” which was signed in Beijing and came into effect on 22 October 2018.