This morning, the Holy Father Francis received in audience the editorial board of the television programme “A Sua Immagine”, to whom he addressed the following greeting:
Greeting of the Holy Father
Dear friends, good morning and welcome!
I thank Fr. Gianni Epifani for his kind words. I am pleased to meet all the group of “A Sua Immagine”: besides the presenter, Ms. Lorena Bianchetti, also the writers, editors, technicians and all those who collaborate on the programme. And I also extend my greetings to those who have preceded you in the past.
As you know, I too often watch your programme, at least in part: when I arrive for the Angelus, almost at the end of the Mass, to reread, you start and I listen to you until midday. A bit like the waiting room for the Angelus… And this programme was the result of a collaboration between the RAI and the Italian Episcopal Conference. Indeed, the Sunday scheduling coincides, in the final part, with the Angelus prayer in Saint Peter’s Square; so, before appearing at the window, I like to watch for a few minutes, and at times I have mentioned some content that has particularly struck me.
I would like to compliment those who, twenty-six years ago, chose the name for the programme: A Sua Immagine (“In His Image”). These words take us back to the beginning of the Bible, to the Book of Genesis, where at the peak of creation God says: “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness” (Gen 1:26). We are created “in God’s image”! We not grow accustomed to this expression; it should never cease to astound us. In each human being God has ignited, in a unique way, a spark of his light, in every person, good or bad, everyone, because it is a matter of a noun, not an adjective: “If he is good he is a believer”… no, no, no. God, in the image of God. This is the noun. In this time, where there is a crisis of substantivity and also the overuse of adjectives - we are in the age of adjectivization: then, when they ask you: “And who is this?” – “He is a thief, he is this and the other”, first the adjective, then comes the noun. No. We have to take back the substance of things. And “In Sua Immagine” it is, your vocation is to seek the substance of things and to free ourselves from this culture of adjectivity. Do not let these words, out of habit, become idle, or reduced to writing on the screen. Preserve the wonder of this Word, so as to be able to communicate it. It is important. The epoch change was are experiencing bears witness to the loss, on the part of many people, precisely of the awareness of being children of God, created “in his image”. There is a need to revive it. Because there, in this “image”, the origin and foundation of the irreducible human dignity is found: the origin and foundation of our all being brothers and sisters, as children of the one God, beloved and created “in his image”.
Consistent with this vision, your programme presents faces and stories of men and women of our time. It does so, in particular, by giving voice to the weakest and those who suffer; it does so by telling of those who live the Gospel in the geographic and existential peripheries of Italy and the world; it does so by opening “windows” on situations and places that often fly under the radar of public opinion. Through your guests and films, you testify to many experiences of life and service, Sunday after Sunday, gracefully and without shouting. You remind us that there are young people capable of dedicating and spending themselves for others; you also show the tragedies of humanity, but through stories that enable us to keep hope alive, because they allow us to glimpse the beauty of the lived Gospel.
I encourage you in this, I encourage you to continue on this path. There is a need to “globalize” solidarity, and not indifference. And today indifference is so globalized… Proclaiming the Gospel means bearing witness, with our life, that there is a God of mercy who awaits us and precedes us, who wanted us and loves us. And you, with your specific work, can contribute a great deal in this sense. And, in this regard, I thank you and the RAI for contributing to giving resonance to the appeals that I address after the Angelus or the Regina Caeli to brothers and sisters in conditions of grave difficulty. In this way, you help the viewers not to forget, to be close to them in prayer, with concrete aid and with daily effort.
Dear friends, I thank you for your work and for how you do it. I accompany it with my blessing, and I bless all of you and your loved ones. And I ask you, please, to pray for me - for, not against!