The fourth dialogue session of Ilkoll Aħwa is taking place on 25th March with the theme chosen being ‘Justice, mercy and reconciliation’, which are three pillars of Pope Francis’ teachings. Whether in the intimacy of our homes or in the political sphere, they are necessary for our well-being built on strong relationships. The dialogue will be led by Dr Nadia Delicata

Justice is based on truth about the equal dignity of every human being and how we all have a right to flourish in a healthy environment, through a network of caring and stable relationships, while enriched by the cultural heritage as passed on by our ancestors. Justice animates a healthy political life as it is sought through ongoing dialogue among all those who hope to live together peaceably in society, notwithstanding our many differences. Justice is learnt from childhood, through every human relationship, in particular in the family. 

Mercy, however, transcends justice. When we are confronted by inexplicable tragedy and come face to face with evil—from that buried in our own hearts, to the madness of war—if we experience true mercy, we realize how much we do not deserve compassion received through concrete acts of kindness. But as Pope Francis never ceases to remind us, “God is merciful”: He never ceases to be generous, and Christians who are touched by this mercy have a duty to share this experience of joy with the world. 

Mercy that touches and transforms our hearts is the good news that reconciliation is not only possible, but actively happening silently even as we speak. This conviction comes from the Christian proclamation that Christ died, was buried and rose again, proving that all that is broken—as death annihilates life—can come together again as God intended it to be from the beginning. 

In our hearts, in our personal relationships, in our tribalistic politics, in a world threatened by war; reconciliation built on justice and mercy is the responsibility of the baptised: through our words, through all our actions … big and small. 

As we wait for Pope Francis and as a people of “unusual kindness” (Acts 28:2) perhaps this is the gift we can offer to other cultures and to our children: to be a people who seek to heal what is broken; to stitch together what has come apart; to choose truth and peace over conflict. In this dialogue session, we will consider together the extent we, as Church in Malta, are living this Christian mission. 

The dialogue session will take place as St Mary’s Parish, Ħ’Attard at 7pm and will be streamed live on and on the Archdiocese of Malta’s Facebook page. For further information kindly contact [email protected].

Click here for more information about the other dialogue sessions.

About Nadia Delicata

Nadia Delicata is Episcopal Delegate for Evangelisation and teaches moral theology at the Faculty of Theology of the University of Malta. She is married and has three children.