Christian love has a social and political dimension. We love when we design and organize social life in such a way that no one suffers misery and no one is excluded; so that unjust suffering is eliminated and human rights are respected. For this reason, it’s regrettable that there are political leaders who, in comfortable rooms, engage in ideological discussions and party strategies, while outside there are oppressed people who yearn for freedom and cry out for justice, while political prisoners are tortured and thousands of exiles suffer hardship (cf. Fratelli Tutti, 189). When the good of society is at stake, good intentions, declarations of principle, and press releases are not enough. Efforts must be made to effectively achieve what people need in order to emerge from their distress and pain (cf. Fratelli Tutti, 185).
The Christian in political life also loves like Jesus, with deep tenderness, with a love that is concrete and personal, that springs from the heart and reaches the eyes, ears, hands, to embrace the smallest and most forgotten (cf. Fratelli Tutti, 194). In political life, love also demands great humility and a capacity for sacrifice in order to achieve the greatest consensus in favor of the common good. In politics, love is a work of craftsmanship that requires wisdom, patience, and great common sense in welcoming and listening to those who think differently, without the need to disqualify or denigrate the adversary.
Finally, I would like to recall an indispensable element that love cannot lack: kindness (Fratelli Tutti, 222). In the family, in the workplace, and among political leaders, there is a lack of kindness in our dealings with one another. It is necessary to smile, to try not to wound with words or gestures, to use words of comfort that console and encourage, instead of hurtful words that humiliate and irritate. Christian politicians should not forget kindness when debating and confronting each other, because kindness “facilitates the quest for consensus; it opens new paths where hostility and conflict would burn all bridges” (Fratelli Tutti, 224).
Bishop Silvio José Báez, O.C.D.
Auxiliary Bishop of Managua
Homily, Sixth Sunday of Easter (excerpts)
9 May 2021, St. Agatha Church, Miami
Bishop Báez makes several references to Pope Francis’ Encyclical Letter, Fratelli Tutti on fraternity and social friendship, which was issued 3 October 2020. We include a link to the full text of this letter so that you may refer to the passages cited and explore further.Read Fratelli Tutti
Translation from the Spanish text is the blogger’s own work product and may not be reproduced without permission.