Sunday, November 17, 2019

Angelus for the World Day of the Poor

At the conclusion of the Mass celebrated inside the Vatican Basilica on the occasion of the World Day of the Poor, 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!

The Gospel for this next-to-last Sunday of the liturgical year (cf Lk 21:5-19) presents Jesus' discourse on the end of time. Jesus pronounces it in front of the temple in Jerusalem, a building admired by people because of its grandeur and splendour. But He prophesies that of all that beauty of the temple, that grandeur not one stone will be left standing; all will be destroyed (Lk 21:6). The destruction of the temple announced by Jesus is a figure not so much of the end of history as of the end of the story. Indeed, standing before the listeners who want to know how and when these signs will happen, Jesus responds with the typical apocalyptic language of the Bible.

He uses two apparently conflicting images: the first is a series of frightening events: catastrophes, wars, famines, riots and persecutions (Lk 21:9-12); the other is reassuring: Not even a hair of your head will be lost (Lk 21:18). First there is a realistic look at history, marked by calamity and also by violence, by traumas that wound creation, our common home, and also the human family that lives there, and the Christian community itself. Let us think of the many wars that are being fought today, of the many calamities that we experience today. The second image - contained in Jesus' reassurance - tells us the attitude that the Christian must take in living this story, characterized by violence and adversity.

And what is the attitude of the Christian? It is the attitude of hope in God, which allows us not to be overcome by tragic events. Indeed, they are an occasion to bear witness (Lk 21:13). The disciples of Christ cannot remain slaves to fear and anxieties; instead, they are called to live in history, to stem the destructive force of evil with the certainty that accompanying their good deeds there is always the provident and reassuring tenderness of the Lord. This is the eloquent sign that the Kingdom of God comes to us, that is, that the realization of the world is approaching as God wants it. It is He, the Lord, who leads our existence and knows the ultimate goal of things and events.

The Lord calls us to collaborate in the construction of history, becoming, together with Him, peacemakers and witnesses of hope in a future of salvation and resurrection. Faith makes us walk with Jesus on the so-often tortuous roads of this world, in the certainty that the strength of his Spirit will bend the forces of evil, subjecting them to the power of God's love. Love is superior, love is more powerful, because it is God: God is love. There are examples of Christian martyrs - our martyrs, even of our times, who are more than those in the beginning years of the Church - who, despite persecution, are men and women of peace. They give us a legacy to be preserved and imitated: the Gospel of love and mercy. This is the most precious treasure that has been given to us and the most effective testimony we can give to our contemporaries, responding to hatred with love, to offences with forgiveness. Even in everyday life: when we receive an offence, we feel pain; but we must forgive heartily. When we feel hated, pray with love for the person who hates us. May the Virgin Mary sustain, with her maternal intercession, our journey of daily faith, and our efforts to follow the Lord who guides history.

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

Dear brothers and sisters,

Yesterday in Riobamba (Ecuador), FAther Emilio Moscoso, a martyred priest of the Company of Jesus, who was killed in 1897 at a time of great persecution against the Church, was proclaimed Blessed.  The example of this humble religious, an apostle of prayer and a teacher of young people, supports our journey of faith and our Christian witness.  Let us applaud this new Blessed!

Today, we celebrate the World Day of the Poor, which has as its theme the words of the Psalm: The hope of the poor will never be deceived (Ps 9:19).  My thoughts go out to all those, in dioceses and in parishes throughout the world, who organize various initiatives of solidarity to provide concrete hope to people who are most in need.  I thank the doctors and nurses who have provided services during these days at the portable Medical Clinic here in Saint Peter's Square.  Thank you for the many efforts in favour of people who are suffering, those who are in need.  This provides a witness that we should never ignore, an opportunity to confront our brothers and sisters.  I have recently seen, just a few moments ago, some statistics about poverty.  Some people really suffer!  The indifference of society toward the poor ... Let us pray (silent prayer).

I greet all of you pilgrims, who have come from Italy and from other countries.  In particular, I greet the Ecuadorian community here in Rome, who are celebrating the Virgen del Quinche; the faithful from New Jersey and those who have come from Toledo; the Daughters of Mary, Help of Christians who have come from various countries and the Italian Association of Marian Shrines throughout the world.  I greet the groups from Porto d'Ascoli and from Angri; and those who are taking part in the pilgrimage of the Lasalliane Schools from Torino and from Vercelli for the closing of the third centenary of the death of Saint John Baptist de la Salle.

On Tuesday, I will begin my trip to Thailand and Japan: I ask you to prayer for this Apostolic voyage.  And I wish all of you a good Sunday.  Please, don't forget to pray for me.  Enjoy your lunch and good bye!
Testo originale nella lingua italiana

No comments: