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Sunday, February 26, 2017

Angelus about God's loving providence

At noon today, the Holy Father, Pope Francis appeared at the window of his study in the Vatican Apostolic Palace to recite the Angelus with the faithful and with pilgrims gathered in Saint Peter's Square.

Greetings of the Holy Father, Pope Francis
prior to the recitation of the Angelus

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

Today's gospel passage (cf Mt 6:24-34) is a strong call for us to trust God - don't forget: trust God - who takes care of all living things in creation.  He provides food for all the animals, cares for the lilies and the grasses in the fields (cf Mt 6:26-28); his loving and caring gaze watches over our lives every day.  He is present beneath all the worries that may rob us of serenity and equilibrium; but this anxiety is often not fruitful because it does not change the course of daily events.  Jesus calls us insistently not to worry about tomorrow (cf Mt 6:25, 28, 31), reminding us that above all, we have a loving Father who never forgets his children: trusting in him will not make our problems magically go away, but it will allow us to face them with the right frame of mind, courageously, I can be courageous because I rely on my Father who takes care of everything and who loves me so much.

God is not a being that is far from us and unknown to us; he is our refuge, the font of our serenity and our peace.  He is the rock of our salvation, to whom we can cling with the certainty that he will never fail us; our defence against the evil that is always lurking.  God is a great friend to us, an ally, a father, but we do not always remember this.  We are not always aware that we have a friend, an ally, a father who loves us; instead, we prefer to lean on concrete things that we can touch, passing things, forgetting and at times refusing the paternal love of God.  Listening to our Father, in this era when so many are orphaned is very important!  In this way, orphans can listen to him as a Father.  We distance ourselves from the love of God when we go in obsessive pursuit of earthly goods and riches; in this way we demonstrate an exaggerated love for these realities.

Jesus tells us that this desperate search is an illusion and a cause for unhappiness.  He gives his disciples a fundamental rule for their lives: Seek instead the kingdom of God above all else (Mt 6:33).  It's a matter of bringing about the plan that Jesus had proclaimed in the Sermon on the mount, trusting in God who does not disappoint - many friends or many of those who we believed to be friends, have deluded us; God will never disappoint! -; he entrusts to us the task of being faithful administrators of the things which he has provided for us, including the earthly ones, but without overdoing it, as though our own salvation too depended only on our own work.  This evangelical attitude requires a clear choice, which today's gospel passage points out: We cannot serve both God and wealth (Mt 6:24).  Either the Lord, or the fascinating though illusory idols.  This choice that we are called to make has further repercussions in many of our actions, plans and commitments.  It is a choice to make our way clearly and to be continually renewed, because the temptation to reduce everything to money, pleasure and power is always pressing in on us.  There are so many temptations of this kind.

While honouring these idols may lead to tangible results, even though they may be fleeting, a choice for God and for his Kingdom doesn't immediately show its results.  It is a decision that takes hope and that leaves the full fruition of the plan in God's hands.  Christian hope is closely tied to the future accomplishment of God's promise and does not stop when it must face some kind of difficulty, for it is founded on the faithfulness of God who never fails.  He is faithful, he is a faithful father, he is a faithful friend, he is a faithful ally.

May the Virgin Mary help us to entrust ourselves to the love and the goodness of our heavenly Father, to live in Him and with Him.  This is the presupposition for overcoming all torments and adversities of life, and also persecutions, as we see in the witness of many of our brothers and sisters.

After the recitation of the Angelus, the Holy Father continued:

Dear brothers and sisters,

I offer a cordial greeting to all of you, pilgrims from Rome, from Italy and from various other countries.

I greet the Polish faithful from Warsaw and from other places who have completed a Marian pilgrimage; and from Spain, those who came from Real City, and the young people from Formentera.

I greet the young people from Cuneo, Zelarino, Mattarello and Malcesine, Fino Mornasco and Monteolimpino; the newly-Confirmed from Cavenago d'Adda, Almenno San Salvatore and Serravalle Scrivia; the faithful from Ferrara, Latina, Sora, Roseto degli Abruzzi, Creazzo and Rivalta sul Mincio.

I greet the group that has come to celebrate the Day of Rare Diseases - thank you, thank you for all that you are doing - and I hope that the patients and their families will be adequately supported as they face a reality that is not easy, either at the medical level or that of legislation.

I wish you all a good Sunday.  Please, don't forget to pray for me.  Enjoy your lunch and good bye!
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