In Evangelii Gaudium, Pope Francisco speaks of the "Challenges of urban cultures" and encourages us to “look at our cities with a contemplative gaze, a gaze of faith which sees God dwelling in their homes, in their streets and squares. God’s presence accompanies the sincere efforts of individuals and groups to find encouragement and meaning in their lives. (n.71) “This presence must not be contrived but found, uncovered. God does not hide himself from those who seek him with a sincere heart, even though they do so tentatively, in a vague and haphazard manner”. (n. 71)
 


We needed to "open the Basilica". As you know, at this time and through the efforts of many volunteers, the Basilica is open every day from 10:00 to 20:00 h (except at noon on Wednesdays) and is a home open to everyone, trying to fulfil the desire of the Holy Father who says: “The Church is called to be the house of the Father, with doors always wide open. One concrete sign of such openness is that our church doors should always be open, so that if someone, moved by the Spirit, comes there looking for God, he or she will not find a closed door.” (n.47) On the other hand, we don’t want it to be a cold opening like the inauguration of a store would be, but with the warmth that radiates the living presence of Jesus. “In their daily lives people must often struggle for survival and this struggle contains within it a profound understanding of life which often includes a deep religious sense.” (n.72)

Those who "struggle to survive" should know that, on Tuesdays and Thursdays (from 13:00 to 19:00) and thanks to the collaboration of ANFE worshippers, they’ll find the Blessed Sacrament exposed to the worship of the people. This is because “We must examine this more closely in order to enter into a dialogue like that of our Lord and the Samaritan woman at the well where she sought to quench her thirst.” (cf. Jn 4:1-15).

Barcelona is also “a privileged locus of the new evangelization” and “This challenges us to imagine innovative spaces and possibilities for prayer and communion which are more attractive and meaningful for city dwellers.” (n.73) Opening ourselves to the gift of God is what has led to a wider opening of the Basilica, to place the Eucharistic presence at the centre for a more prolonged period of time, offering shared spaces for praying that convert us in Samaritans of those who try to "survive " in our city.