Pope Francis, “Fratelli tutti”

Chapter Two of ‘Fratelli tutti’ is based on the parable of the Good Samaritan. Pope Francis begins exploring the parable within its context. The understanding of relationships in Old and New Testament are presented in nn.57 to 62. He refers to the first one to go wrong, the brothers Cain and Abel; Job’s seeing ‘our origin in the one Creator as the basis of certain common rights: “Did not he who made me in the womb also make him? And did not the same one fashion us in the womb?” (Job 31:15)’; In the Book of Leviticus, we see the command to love our neighbour as yourself., but the understanding of that was confined to within the one nation until later times.

Pope Francis quotes references from the Old Testament about relationships with ‘strangers’ and ‘foreigners’ and references from the New Testament about ‘the call to ‘fraternal love’. They are in n.61. He opens that paragraph by saying: ‘In the oldest texts of the Bible, we find a reason why our hearts should expand to embrace the foreigner. It derives from the enduring memory of the Jewish people that they themselves had once lived as foreigners in Egypt:

“You shall not wrong or oppress a stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt” (Ex 22:21) .“You shall not oppress a stranger; you know the heart of a stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt” (Ex 23:9). “When a stranger resides with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the stranger as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt” (Lev 19:33-34). “When you gather the grapes of your vineyard, do not glean what is left; it shall be for the sojourner, the orphan, and the widow. Remember that you were a Slave in the land of Egypt” (Deut 24:21-22).

“For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself” (Gal 5:14). “Whoever loves a brother or sister lives in the light, and in such a person there is no cause for stumbling. But whoever hates another believer is in the darkness” (1 Jn 2:10-11). “We know that we have passed from death to life because we love one another. Whoever does not love abides in death” (1 Jn 3:14). “Those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen” (1 Jn 4:20).