By Carol Glatz
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — With every act of charity and serving others, Christians must always try to “disappear” so that only the Lord and his love appear before the people they serve, Pope Francis said.
“Reveal, in service and in the gift of yourselves, the tenderness of the Father’s face,” he said during an audience at the Vatican Nov. 6 with members of the Little House of Mercy in Gela, Sicily, a volunteer association serving multiple needs in the seaside city.
The pope praised the many ways the group has “sought to embrace in charity all people and the whole person, addressing multiple needs and promoting various initiatives.”
“You have allowed yourselves to be provoked and disquieted by the needs of the brothers and sisters whom God has placed on your path, especially the least, the neediest, and they are many!” he said.
Like the good Samaritan, the volunteers did not keep walking, but stopped to take care of those in need “with creativity, courage and generosity,” he said.
The pope encouraged them to “cultivate and strengthen” further the foundation of their work: the spirituality of mercy and the Eucharist.
This spirituality wants “humble disciples of the Eucharistic Christ” who, with Jesus, reveal the face of God, the father, he said.
“Imitate God who is close, compassionate and tender, and also be close to others” with much compassion and tenderness, he said. “We need tenderness in the church.”
“Do everything with one desire: that the people who meet you come to know him. Try, in doing good, to disappear, with humility, so that the Lord alone appears in what you do and everyone comes to him,” he said.