Tuesday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time

Reception of the illegal immigrants and legality

Now when the Pharisees with some scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around him, they observed that some of his disciples ate their meals with unclean, that is, unwashed, hands …. So the Pharisees and scribes questioned him, “Why do your disciples not follow the tradition of the elders but instead eat a meal with unclean hands?” He responded, “Well did Isaiah prophesy about you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; In vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines human precepts.’ You disregard God’s commandment but cling to human tradition.” Mk 7,1-8

There is a form of religiosity completely intended to follow the external aspects of the faith, and there is another in which the man is open to welcome the Lord without prejudice of any kind. The first – Jesus says today by reporting a passage from the prophet Isaiah – is the religious impulse of the lips, the second is that of the heart. Or, if we wish, in the first the priority is held by the habits, in the second by the Lord and by the man. Against the audacity of the God’s plan, there is always the risk of defending by sticking to the rules and traditions, almost always the result of the cunning of the powerful people more than of the justice towards the weaks. But the laws exist and it is wrong not to cope with without trying to change it: Jesus did not do so. Indeed, what is the gospel if not a continuous change in the habits to conform the laws of the men to the thought of God? In the Church today, in relation to the illegal immigrants, someone attempts to reconcile the host with the law and others support the unconditional welcome, neglecting their legal integration. The christians must believe and assert that no law is more important than the man, as rightly argued by Don Francesco, parish priest of Castiglioncello, in an exchange of ideas which we had a few days ago.
We, who share this principle, also supported the legal aspect, then wondering why we did it. It is true that to believe in the centrality of the man above all the law, is to believe in the gospel which announces the end of the alienation of the person but, in our opinion, the solution is different: the Church must do everything in its power to change the laws of a secularized society, but it cannot  disregard them as they would not exist, if not for the first instance. In our opinion, in fact, to welcome the stranger for his immediate needs is an act of charity, while helping the people to stay in our territory against any law, is an act of social transgression. This difference has been understood by our son Gianluca, who will seek to meet the direct needs of the immigrants and their legal integration. But when this is not possible, he works for the return to their country.

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