Pope: By her very nature, the Church does not stand still but goes into the world

In today's Angelus, Francis spoke about the Gospel of Luke: "Jesus' decision is radical and total, and those who follow him are called to measure themselves against it.” The Church "is open to the broadest horizons, sent – the Church has been sent! – to bring the Gospel to the streets and reach out into the peripheries of humanity and existence”. The Pope mentioned Trump's visit to Korea and his crossing into the North: "May this meeting serve to build peace.”


Vatican City (AsiaNews) – As he does every Sunday for the Angelus, Pope Francis gave his thoughts about a Gospel story, this time from Luke, about Jesus’s travel to Jerusalem.

In his address, the pontiff said that, by her very nature, the Church "is not inactive, it doesn’t sit quietly in her corner. On the contrary, she is open to the broadest horizons, sent – the Church has been sent! – to bring the Gospel to the streets and reach out into the peripheries of humanity and existence”.

Hers is a “long march, not only geographical and spatial, but also spiritual and theological, towards fulfilling the Messiah's mission. Jesus' decision is radical and total, and those who follow him are called to measure themselves against it. Today the Evangelist presents us with three characters – three cases of vocation, we might say – that highlight what is required of those who want to follow Jesus fully, totally!"

The first character promised that ‘I will follow you wherever you go’ (Lk, 9:57). "But Jesus answers that the Son of man, unlike the foxes that have dens and the birds that have nests, ‘has nowhere to rest his head’ (Lk 9:58). Absolute poverty. Jesus, in fact, left his father’s home and gave up all security to announce the Kingdom of God to the lost sheep of his people. Thus, he showed us, his disciples, that our mission in the world cannot be static, but is itinerant.”

The second character that Jesus met "received the call directly from him, but responded saying: ‘Lord, let me go first bury my father’ (Lk 9:59). This is a legitimate request, based on the commandment to honour one’s father and mother. However, Jesus replied: ‘Let the dead bury their dead’ (Lk 9:60). With these, deliberately provocative words, he meant to assert the primacy of following and announcing the Kingdom of God, even over the most important realities, like the family."

The third character "also wanted to follow Jesus but, after taking his leave from his relatives, heard the Master say: ‘No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the kingdom of God (Lk 9:62). Following Jesus excludes regrets and looking backwards; instead, it requires the virtue of decision."

The value of these conditions set by Jesus – travel, readiness and decision – "does not lie in a series of ‘no’ said to good and important things in life. The accent, rather, should be on the main objective: to become a disciple of Christ! A free and conscious choice, made out of love, to reciprocate God’s priceless grace, and not a way to promote oneself."

Jesus, said Francis before the recitation of the Marian prayer, "wants us to be passionate about him and the Gospel. A passion of the heart that translates into concrete gestures of proximity, of closeness to the brothers most in need of acceptance and care. Just as he himself experienced.”

Right after the Angelus, the Pope greeted those present and congratulated the leaders of the United States, North Korea and South Korea who met today at the Demilitarized Zone: "May this meeting serve to build peace,” he said.

In concluding, the Holy Father said: "On this, the last day of June, I wish all workers a period of rest during the summer, which will benefit them and their families. I pray for those who at present have suffered the most from the consequences of the heat: the sick, seniors, people who have to work outdoors, on construction sites ... Let no one be abandoned or exploited.”

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