The Catholic Pope's appeal to African leaders resounds as an exhortation to all of those who live in lands of immigration.
"Jesus, the Son of Man, the ultimate judge of our lives, took upon Himself the image of those who are hungry and thirsty, strangers, those who are naked, sick or prisoners; that is, of all people who suffer or are put aside; our behaviour towards them will thus be considered as the behaviour so we have towards Jesus himself. "
Theses are the words of Pope Benedict at the Mass celebrated at the "Stade de l'Amitie '", in Benin, on the occasion of the publication of the apostolic exhortation entitled The Pledge for Africa (Africae Munus in Latin), by the Second Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops, which the Pope signed in Ouidah.
"Today, as 2000 years ago, used as we are to seeing the signs of royalty in success, in authority, money or power, we find it hard to accept such a king, a king who became a servant of the most humble, a king whose throne is a cross, " said the Pope.
"And yet, the Scriptures tell us, this is how the glory of Christ manifests itself: it is in the humbleness of his earthly life that He finds the power to judge the world.
"For Him, to reign is to serve. And what He asks us is to follow him along this path, to serve, to be attentive to the cry of the poor, the weak and marginalized. "