Be like the people of Malta – Pope Francis

Pope Francis gestures as he arrives to deliver the "Urbi et Orbi" Christmas Day message from the main balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, December 25, 2019. REUTERS/Yara Nardi

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Pope Francis urged the faithful to be like the people of Malta.

Pope Francis dedicated his catechesis at the General Audience to the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, which takes place each year between the 18th and 25th January.

“Dear Brothers and Sisters: Today’s catechesis occurs in the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, whose theme this year – on hospitality – was prepared by the Christian communities of Malta and Gozo. The theme is based on Saint Paul’s dramatic experience of being shipwrecked at Malta, and the welcome he and his companions received there,” said Pope Francis.

According to the pontiff, hospitality is an important ecumenical virtue, which is open to listening to the experience that other Christians have of God.

“When we welcome Christians of a different tradition we reveal God’s love to them and receive the gifts that the Holy Spirit has sown in them. In this way, we Christians are challenged to overcome our divisions and to show Christ’s love more effectively to others, especially the many migrants who, like Paul, face danger at sea, as they flee from peril. Working together like this will make us both better disciples of the Lord and more united as the People of God,” said the Pope.

The Maltese have been welcoming since the time of St. Paul’s shipwreck according to Pope Francis.