Bartholomew urges Catholics to "share the taste of friendship" of Christ
Addressing the participants of the ecumenical prayer service, Patriarch Bartholomew noted that he was glad because he saw "the abundant fruit expected by God".
On October 19, 2020, the head of the Phanar, Patriarch Bartholomew, during his participation in an ecumenical prayer service organized by the Catholic Community of Sant'Egidio in Rome, called on Catholics to “share the taste of friendship” of Christ together, reports the official website of the Patriarchate of Constantinople.
According to Patriarch Bartholomew, " to love like Christ means to give ourselves completely, without measure and without expecting anything in return and this gift can never be separated from forgiveness, which we must know how to offer without any conditions".
He believes that “we must all stand firm in carrying out this great commandment because only in this way are we His friends. And His friends and our friends are those who do His will, who embody this ideal of life in their lives".
Quoting the words of Christ “I have called you friends because I have made known to you everything I have heard from the Father”, Patriarch Bartholomew called on the representatives of the RCC, present at the ecumenical prayer service, to share “the taste of this friendship”.
“Tonight, beloved brothers and sisters, let us share together the taste of this friendship and of this love that He has offered us in abundance... And to understand his love, we must also first be his disciples, let ourselves be loved by him and only afterwards can we love the other, even our enemy. ‘Love and do what you want,’ said Blessed Augustine because only Christ is the root of love,” the head of the Phanar noted.
He also stressed: “We are his disciples, not because of our merit, not because of our good disposition, but because he has chosen us, bearers of divine confidence so that we can bear the fruit awaited by God: mutual love, love for all that He has for us. He gave so that we might care so that it might bear fruit in abundance."
“Looking into your eyes, looking at the eyes that shine in this Community, we can see the abundant fruit awaited by God and we rejoice in it because we perceive the love of Christ because we live the friendship of being all his disciples because we all walk towards our transfiguration in Him,” said Patriarch Bartholomew.
The head of the Phanar assured those present that “tonight's meeting, how much we will experience in these days, are good fruits that we can reap together, to witness before the world that we can, indeed, we must obey the Lord's commandment, in order to radiate to the world a feeling of fraternity, concrete, tangible, with which knowing how to welcome each brother and sister and at the same time make our every action operational, capable of new gestures, gestures of foresight, gestures of hope in the history of humanity.”
As reported earlier, the Phanar head called other religions "the wealth of the sons of God".