The sculpture, by Canadian artist Timothy Schmalz, depicts migrants throughout history crowded together on a boat with the Holy Family.
Pointing to the statue in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis said, “dwell on the gaze of those people and welcome in that gaze the hope of starting to live again that every migrant has today.”
“Go there, see that monument,” he urged. “Let’s not close the doors to their hope.”
Before the Angelus, the pope also reflected on the day’s Gospel from St. Mark, in which the Evangelist recalls when Jesus said to his disciples: “If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed than with two hands to go into Gehenna, into the unquenchable fire.”
Pope Francis said Jesus wants us to stop judging others and to worry about our own behavior first. “Indeed, the risk is to be inflexible towards others and indulgent towards ourselves,” he noted.
“Jesus is radical, demanding, but for our own good, like a good doctor,” he continued. “Every cut, every pruning, is so we can grow better and bear fruit in love.”
“Let us ask, then: what is it in me that is contrary to the Gospel? What, in concrete terms, does Jesus want me to cut out of my life?”
“Let us pray to Mary Immaculate, that she may help us be welcoming towards others and vigilant over ourselves,” he concluded.
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