Fratelli tutti gives us hope by reminding us that, yes, we face many pandemics, but our greatest strength lies in reaching out to one another and building new relationships of care and support so that everyone can thrive. Does this sound utopian? Perhaps. But the virus, in its rapid spread and mutation, has not only shown us the value and vulnerability of our life in common, but has given us a powerful example of being a “community” that knows how to pull together in order to survive. Can we do the same now, not just for our own survival, but for the common good of all, including our Common Home? Fratelli tutti helps us to see that “normality” works only for some while it leaves others sacrificed, hurt, or exploited. Fratelli tutti also fills us with hope for new possibilities of change through rediscovering the humanity of our community. The biblical figure of Cain does not have the last word, I am my brother’s and sister’s keeper. That is what it means to live authentically.
Now is the time for us to start building something new. Hard, patient work is required, but it will be good work, undertaken with a deep sense of solidarity, and we will all have a role to play in it. The virus has reminded us that we cannot flourish or even survive without one another, so now is the time to start creating a new society. But this will require more than a political, economic, or even ecological vision. It will demand that we live from the depths of our souls, feeling compassion and being fully aware of the suffering of others. Fratelli tutti teaches us to open our eyes wide and discover not only that we have the power to be Good Samaritans, but that we are also included among those who lie wounded and dying on the roadside.
[Photos by Vatican Media]