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Pope Francis: Challenges from urban cultures (cont.)
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Pope Francis: Challenges from urban cultures (cont.)


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Day 26: "Pope for the Day" series on the "Joy of the Gospel." Open the city's doors to Christ!

Day 26: "Pope for the Day" series on the "Joy of the Gospel." Open the city's doors to Christ!

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  • 1. Pope Francis: Challenges from urban cultures (cont.) From The Joy of the Gospel (Evangelii gaudium) nn. 74-75, by Pope Francis
  • 2. 74. What is called for is an evangelization capable of shedding light on these new ways of relating to God, to others and to the world around us, and inspiring essential values. It must reach the places where new narratives and paradigms are being formed, bringing the word of Jesus to the inmost soul of our cities. St. James Church
  • 3. Cities are multicultural; in the larger cities, a connective network is found in which groups of people share a common imagination and dreams about life, and new human interactions arise, new cultures, invisible cities. Various subcultures exist side by side, and often practise segregation and violence. Roland Geider
  • 4. The Church is called to be at the service of a difficult dialogue. On the one hand, there are people who have the means needed to develop their personal and family lives, but there are also many “non- citizens”, “half citizens” and “urban remnants”. Cities create a sort of permanent ambivalence because, while they offer their residents countless possibilities, they also present many people with any number of obstacles to the full development of their lives.
  • 5. This contrast causes pain- ful suffering. In many parts of the world, cities are the scene of mass protests where thous- ands of peo- ple call for freedom, a voice in pub- lic life, justice and a variety of other de- mands which, if not properly understood, will not be silenced by force. Tunisia, 2011:Khaoula Stiti/ Wikimedia Commons
  • 6. 75. We cannot ignore the fact that in cities human trafficking, the narcotics trade, the abuse and exploitation of minors, the abandonment of the elderly and infirm, and various forms of corruption and criminal activity take place. At the same time, what could be significant places of encounter and solidarity often become places of isolation and mutual distrust. Houses and neighbourhoods are more often built to isolate and protect than to connect and integrate. laurenatclemson/Wikimedia Commons
  • 7. The proclamation of the Gospel will be a basis for restoring the dignity of human life in these contexts, for Jesus desires to pour out an abundance of life upon our cities (cf. Jn 10:10).
  • 8. The unified and complete sense of human life that the Gospel proposes is the best remedy for the ills of our cities, even though we have to realize that a uniform and rigid program of evangel- ization is not suited to this complex reality. But to live our human life to the fullest and to meet every challenge as a leaven of Gospel witness in every culture and in every city will make us better Christians and bear fruit in our cities.
  • 9. For reflection & prayer If I were to list the top five things I dislike most about “life in the Big City,” the “obsta- cles to the full development of [my life],” (n. 74) what would they be? Where is God in them? How can I bring the Gospel to bear on these urban realities? Jesus, with unfailing love, you desire to pour out an abundance of life upon my city (cf. n. 75). Start with me. Make me a reservoir of grace, so that those who meet me might find this life in you and we might renew our communities.