A couple of days before the conclave that elected Pope Francis in 2013, it is said that the Pope expressed himself to the cardinals that ‘The church is called to come out of herself and to go to the peripheries, not only geographically, but also the existential peripheries: the mystery of sin, of pain, of injustice, of ignorance and indifference to religion, of intellectual currents and of all misery.’ Pope Francis could not have explained it much better than he did that day. Precisely, this is the crossroad that the Church is in, in today’s history of society. This is where each member of the Church, each parish, each Christian group, and any other member of the Church, is to focus and reach out to.
Sin, pain, injustice, ignorance, indifferences to religion, intellectual currents, and misery, are what people all over the world are suffering from daily. Each one of these sufferings reflects a burden of life, a cross to live with, a cross that truly has already been carried by Jesus for the Salvation of mankind. Through His constant love for mankind, through the grace of the Trinity, the daily cross of mankind is continuously carried spiritually by Jesus.
Today’s society is faced, amongst others, with conflicts involving military forces, with the never-ending problem of the refugee crisis, the constant challenges of oppression, the addiction to drugs, the increasing problem of human trafficking and child slavery, the range of poverty found not only in poor suburbs and so called third world countries, but also in wealthy cities and countries. This is just the tip of the iceberg of the plagues of society today. These are some of the most common issues mankind faces in our lifetime. This is what the peripheries are partly all about. People from different nations, cultures, races, and religions are present in these peripheries. These people are suffering from the lack of love, lack of injustice, lack of compassion, are suffering due to the darkness of evil.
This is the crossroad the Church is in, to reach out more to those in the peripheries.
(This reflection is an extract from the book ‘The King… of the peripheries’ available from: https://www.amazon.com/King-Peripheries-George-Calleja/dp/B09NH6413H/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr= )