Sunday, October 27, 2019

Angelus after the Synod

At noon today, local time in Rome (6:00am EDT), at the conclusion of the Holy Mass celebrated in the Vatican Basilica to mark the end of the Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazonian region (which has taken place from 6 to 27 October 2019) on the theme: Amazonia: New paths for the Church and for an Integral Ecology, the Holy Father, Pope Francis appeared at the window of his study inside the 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!

The Mass that was celebrated this morning in Saint Peter's Basilica concluded the Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazonian region. The first reading, from the Book of Sirach, reminded us of the starting point of this journey: the invocation of the poor, which pierces the clouds, because God hears the prayer of the oppressed (Sir 35: 21.16). The cry of the poor, together with that of the earth, came to us from the Amazon. After these three weeks we can't pretend not to have heard it. The voices of the poor, together with those of many others inside and outside the Synod Assembly - Pastors, young people, scientists - are pushing us not to remain indifferent. We have often heard the phrase later, it will be too late: this sentence cannot remain a slogan.

What was the Synod? It was, as the word says, a walk together, comforted by the courage and consolation that comes from the Lord. We walked while looking into each other's eyes and listening to each other, sincerely, without hiding the difficulties, experiencing the beauty of moving forward together, in order to serve. The Apostle Paul inspires us in this regard in the second reading today: in a dramatic moment for him, while he knows that he is about to be paid in the offering - that is, executed - and that the time has come to leave this life (cf 2 Tim 4:6), he writes, at that moment: The Lord, however, was close to me and gave me strength, so that I could bring the proclamation of the Gospel to completion and all the nations heard him" (2 Tim:17). Here is Paul's last wish: not something for himself or for some of his people, but for the Gospel, so that it may be proclaimed to all peoples. This comes first and counts most of all. Each of us will have asked ourselves many times what we should do that would be good for our lives; today is the time; let us ask ourselves: I, what can I do good for the Gospel?

At the Synod, we asked ourselves this question, for we are eager to open new paths for the proclamation of the Gospel. Only what is lived is proclaimed. And to live for Jesus, to live for the Gospel we must go out of ourselves. We felt encouraged to take off, to leave the comfortable shores of our safe ports and to go deep into the waters: not into the swampy waters of ideologies, but into the open sea where the Spirit invites us to throw the nets.

For the journey that is to come, let us invoke the Virgin Mary, venerated and loved as Queen of the Amazon. She gained this title not by conquering but rather by being inculturated: with the humble courage of a mother she became the protector of her children, the defence of the oppressed, always going toward the culture of peoples. There is no standard culture, there is no pure culture that purifies the others; there is the Gospel; it is pure and needs to be inculturated. To her, who took care of Jesus in the poor house of Nazareth, we entrust the poorest children and our common home.

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

Dear brothers and sisters,

I offer a special thought to the beloved people of Lebanon, in particular the young people, who in recent days have made their cries heard in response to social, morial and economic challenges and problems in their country.  I urge all people to seek out just solutions through dialogue, and I am praying to the Virgin Mary, the Queen of Lebanon, that with the support of the international community, that country may continue to be a place of peaceful coexistence and respect for the dignity and freedom of every person for the benefit of the entire Middle-eastern region, which is suffering so much.

With great affection, I greet you all, pilgrims from Italy and from other countries, especially those who have come from Sao Paolo in Brazil and those who have come from Poland, as well as the Céntro Académico Romano Fundación group from Spain.

I greet the Apostles of the Sacred Heart, who are celebrating one hundred years since their foundation; the Siro-Malabar community from the Diocese of Patti; and the seminarians from the Dioceses of Regiio Emilia-Guastalla, who served the Mass inside the Basilica this morning.  And I also see that there are some recently Confirmed young people from Galzignano: greetings to you!

This is the final Sunday of October, the Missionary month, and this year, it had a special character, in addition to being the month of the Rosary.  I renew my invitation to pray the Rosary for the Church's missions today, especially for the missionaries who are experiencing major difficulties.  And at the same time, let us continue to pray the Rosary for peace.  May the gospel and peace continue to journey together.

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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