“We need to develop the awareness that nowadays we are either all saved together or no one is saved.” (No. 137)
As he did in his previous encyclical Laudato Si’, Pope Francis draws again on the spirit of Francis of Assisi, the saint who expressed his brotherhood and friendship with all creatures, and especially those who were poor and abandoned. Here, Francis offers many points that speak to contemporary social issues: the death penalty; the practical limitations of “just war” teaching; the plight of migrants and refugees; and a warning against “building walls” that deny our common humanity. But underneath all these topical issues is a call to discernment and conversion.
In one moving section of the document Pope Francis reflects on the Parable of the Good Samaritan, asking us to consider, “Which of the persons do you identify with? . . . Which of these characters do you resemble?” According to Francis, we face a fundamental choice: “Here, all our distinctions, labels and masks fall away: it is the moment of truth. Will we bend down to touch and heal the wounds of others?”