Friendship is one of the great gifts that life gives us. Being able to count on friends, during good times as well as bad, is a gift from God. Wouldn’t it be stupendous if we could “go beyond (our) groups of friends and build social friendship, which is so necessary for living together well,” as Francis tells us? We need to seek friends instead of enemies, understanding each other instead of fighting—in the Pope’s words, “leaving polarization behind.” Let us extend a hand and listen to others so we can work together for the common good. Share this message of Francis with your friends, and also—why not?—with people who aren’t friends yet.
“The Bible says that whoever finds a friend has found a treasure.
I would like to invite everyone to go beyond their groups of friends and build social friendship, which is so necessary for living together well.
We especially need to have a renewed encounter with the most impoverished and vulnerable, those on the peripheries.
And we need to distance ourselves from populisms that exploit the anguish of the people without providing solutions, proposing a mystique that solves nothing. We must flee from social enmity which only destroys, and leave “polarization” behind.
And this isn’t always easy, especially today when part of our politics, society and media are bent on creating enemies so as to defeat them in a game of power.
Dialogue is the path to seeing reality in a new way, so we can live with passion the challenges we face in constructing the common good. Let us pray that, in social, economic, and political situations of conflict, we may be courageous and passionate architects of dialogue and friendship, men and women who always hold out a helping hand, and may no spaces of enmity and war remain.”