After last year's message, dedicated to the need to "Come and See" in order to discover reality and be able to recount it starting from experiencing events and meeting with people, this year the Pope focuses attention on the verb: "listen."
The Pontiff begins his reflection by explaining that the listening of which he speaks "is essentially linked to the dialogical relationship between God and humanity. 'Shema' Israel - Listen, O Israel' (Deut. 6:4), the opening words of the first commandment of the Torah, is continually reiterated in the Bible, to the point that St. Paul says that 'faith comes through listening.'"
If, therefore, listening from the heart is a relationship, then paying "attention to whom we listen to, what we listen to, and how we listen" is the decisive element for being able to grow in the art of communicating.
The Pope then specifies that listening is "a condition of good communication." Faced with the many situations in public life in which, instead of listening to each other, "we talk past one another", or in daily life, in which we simply wait "for the other person to finish speaking in order to impose our point of view", the Pope proposes the virtue of patience, "together with the ability to allow oneself be surprised by the truth, even if only a fragment of truth, in the person we are listening to".
So, after encouraging and praising journalists who lend their ear "listening in depth," especially social distress and realities such as migration, the Pope invites the whole Church to listen to each other.
"We should listen with the ears of God that we mat speak the Word of God," Francis affirms, quoting the Protestant theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer; all the more so, then, in a journey such as the current synodal path, along which Pope Francis is leading the Church.
The complete message of the Holy Father is available in several languages on the website of the Vatican Press Office