On Sunday, 5 March 2017, Padre Agostino from Licata, Sicily, blessed the Sea-Eye before its first mission in 2017. Already last year, in a solemn ceremony, he had blessed the Sea-Eye’s maiden voyage (Photo).
I will make you fishers of men (Mk. 1, 14-20)
Letter to all crew members of the ship Sea-Eye
Dear sisters and dear brothers, my friends;
I hope that this message will find you in peace and in the deep joy of those who generously give his life for love.
For you today begins an exciting and very significant new experience for yourself and especially for all the mankind. With a lot of different reasons you are prompted to make this choice, but what unites them all is certainly your passionate love for humanity. The humanity-term risks to become too abstract for this reason sometimes the question is spontaneous: what does it mean to love humanity? how does it translate into practice, into tangible and significant gestures?
As a churchman the answer that comes from my heart is only one: love humanity is love every person without “ifs” or “buts”, not just a friend, a relative, a countryman, a compatriot , the one that has my same skin color, the well dressed that smells; but the ordinary man, especially the one who has nothing, the poorest, starving, the badly dressed, that stinks, that runs away from war, violence, and who ventures into the sea with the hope of a new life, better and that unfortunately sometimes ends shipwrecked at sea, in the sea that in the history has been a source of life and that today instead is a graveyard.
Let me share with you some passages from the Koran and Mishnach, Arab and Jewish culture that best express what you do today: “whoever saves one will be as if he saved the whole of humanity, whoever kills an innocent, acts as if he has killed all mankind “. Koran 5:32. “If anyone saves a single soul scriptures recognize him credit for having saved an entire world. (Mishnach 4.5).
As a priest I would like to draw to your reading a passage from the Gospel of Mark in which Jesus tells his disciples:” There I will make you fishers of men “(Mk. 1, 14-20).
Today this call is addressed to you. A fisherman is a man fishing fish, take away from its natural element a creature dying to become food, fishermen take away from the sea to give death. But if you draw a man from the sea do just the opposite: give life, save. Here this is my message for you ridate: be fishers of men, new dates chance of life, help, hope ridate with the smile with love . Maybe some of you do not believe in God, is an atheist, an agnostic … Well, no matter, no matter whether you believe in God, what is important is that he believes in you and you are sending to restore hope to the hopeless. I wish you every good in Christ and embrace you affectionately and fraternally and cordially bless you.
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