Pope to UAE Sikhs: Faith and service are intimately linked
Ahead of Pope Francis' upcoming visit to Dubai, the Holy Father receives members of the Sikh Delegation from Guru Nanak Darbar of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, and encourages them to continue their selfless service which leads to God.
Faith and service are intimately linked and lead us closer to God.
Pope Francis offered this reflection on Saturday as he addressed members of a Sikh delegation, who hail from various countries and gathered in Rome for an initiative of the Guru Nanak Darbar Sikh temple in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.
The Holy Father will be returning to the UAE in early December, this time to the city of Dubai, on the occasion of the COP28 conference. This marks his second Apostolic Journey to the UAE, after his February 2019 Visit to sign the Document on Human Fraternity and Living Together at an interfaith summit. He will be the first Pope to attend the UN climate summit.
On Saturday morning, the Pope expressed his joy to receive the diverse delegation and to learn about the faith-inspired service they offer the communities in those countries that have become their home.
Such efforts, the Pope noted, "bear witness to your endeavour to live by faith and to contribute to the good of society," especially as they seek to integrate themselves but at the same time "remain steadfast to your own specific identity."
The Pope expressed gratitude for their commitment to building bridges among people, and serving the poor, the needy, and the suffering, noting that, in doing so, they acknowledge the ways their own lives have been blessed and enriched
“Faith and service, as you are aware, are intimately linked.”
True path to God
"Indeed, the true path to God, as your Holy Scripture Guru Granth Sahib says," the Pope continued, "lies in the service of our fellow human beings."
The Holy Father recalled Jesus' words in the Gospel: “I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me” (Mt 25:35-36).
The Pope encouraged them to continue this service.
Be a blessing
"Selfless service rendered in particular to the least in our midst, and to those on the peripheries of society, besides making us consciously aware of our own littleness and insufficiency," he said, "brings us closer to God."
Before giving the delegation his blessing, Pope Francis concluded by praying that "service always remain your way of life" and that they "be a blessing to all whom you serve in promoting the spirit of fraternity and equality, justice, and peace!"
Deborah Castellano Lubov