Pope Francis calls on Christians to take responsibility in their faith. “A Christian who is not active, who is not responsible for proclaiming the Lord, who is not the protagonist of his faith, is not a Christian or, as my grandmother used to say, a pure Christian,” Pope Francis told the Angelus. Then he added: “The Lord has chosen us to be Christians. We are sinners, we do one thing after another, but the Lord continues to believe in us, believes in us. It is wonderful.”
During the Angelus prayer, the pope also said he had “painfully learned the news of the kidnapping of a group of people, including six religious sisters, in Haiti.” “In earnestly requesting his release, I pray for social harmony in the country and invite everyone to put an end to the violence that is causing so much suffering to this dear population.”
The Pope also launched a new call to prayer for peace: “Let us not tire of calling on the Lord for peace in Ukraine, in Israel.”
Palestine and many other parts of the world. Those who suffer from it are always the weakest. I think of the little ones, of the many injured and killed children, of those who lack affection, dreams and a future. We are committed to praying for them and building peace.”
In addition, Francis announced a year of prayer in anticipation of the 2025 anniversary. “The next few months will lead us to the opening of the Holy Door, with which we will begin the Jubilee. I ask you to intensify your prayers to prepare us.” Live this event of grace well. For this reason – he announced – today we begin the Year of Prayer, that is, a year dedicated to the rediscovery of the great value and absolute necessity of prayer, in personal life, in the life of the Church, of prayer in the World” and added that “these days we pray especially for Christian unity”.
“Social media is violent, the word of God is gentle”
Before the usual Angelus prayer, the Pope presided over the Mass on Sunday of the Word of God in St. Peter's Basilica, where the offices of lector and catechist took place.
During the sermon he asked the believers to put the word of God back at the center. “As words about the Church continue to be said and read, help us rediscover the word of life that resonates in the Church! Otherwise,” he said, “we end up talking more about ourselves than about Him. And often our thoughts and our problems remain the focus and not Christ with his Word. Let us return to the springs to offer the world the living water it cannot find.”
“And while society and social media emphasize the violence of words,” the Pope emphasized, “let us embrace the meekness of the word that saves, that is gentle, that does not make noise, that penetrates the heart.”
The Pope, who advised us to always have a little Gospel with us, in our pocket or “on our cell phone,” explained that the Word of God is like a compass: “We often find it difficult to keep our certainties, our habits, for we remain entangled in them like fish in a net. But whoever comes into contact with the Word heals from the pitfalls of the past, because the living Word reinterprets life, also healing the wounded memory by implanting the memory of God and his works. The Holy Scripture grounds us in good and remembers remember who we are: saved and loved children of God.
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