Vatican City, Feb 23, 2017 / 07:33 am America/Denver (CNA).
On Thursday Pope Francis welcomed longtime friend and Rabbi Abraham Skorka to the Vatican for the presentation of a new version of the Torah, which he said is a sign of the love God shows to man in both words and gestures.
The Torah “manifests the paternal and visceral love of God, a love shown in words and concrete gestures, a love that becomes covenant,” the Pope said during the Feb. 23 audience, adding that the word covenant in itself “is resonant with associations that bring us together.”
He noted how St. John Paul II in his speech for the 25th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council document “Nostra Aetate,” which marked a milestone in improving Catholic-Jewish relations, called the Torah “the living teaching of the living God.”
“God is the greatest and most faithful covenantal partner,” he said, noting that not only did God call Abraham to form a people that would become “a blessing for all peoples of the earth,” but he still desires world in which men and women “are bound to him and as a result live in harmony among themselves and with creation.”
At a time when things people say often “lead to tragic division and rivalry, these divine words of covenant open before all of us paths of goodness to walk together,” he said.