During the Angelus, Pope Francis noted that "The Lord never abandons us" and this can help overcome "fear and discouragement" along with "pessimism, closure, and apathy" at this time of pandemic. The pontiff urged the faithful to pray for the new cardinals.
Vatican City (AsiaNews) – In the first Angelus of the new liturgical year, on the first Sunday of Advent, Pope Francis stressed that Advent is a "time of expectation and hope", a hope that must be shared, as "indicated by the Apostle Peter: to render an account for the hope that is in us (cf. 1 Pt 3:15)".
Hours earlier, the pontiff spoke about Advent during the Mass concelebrated in St Peter's with the new cardinals created in yesterday's consistory.
This time is important for the present. The “situation we are living in, marked by the pandemic, generates worry, fear and discouragement in many people; we run the risk of falling into pessimism, closure and apathy. [. . .] Confidently waiting for the Lord allows us to find comfort and courage in the dark moments of our lives. And what gives rise to this courage and this trustful pledge? They are born of hope.
“Advent is a continuous call to hope: it reminds us that God is present in history to lead it to its ultimate goal and to its fullness, which is the Lord Jesus Christ. God is present in the history of humanity, He is the ‘God-with-us’, He walks beside us to support us. The Lord never abandons us”.
“Mary Most Holy, the woman of the expectation, accompany our steps at the beginning of this new liturgical year, and help us to fulfil the task of Jesus’ disciples, indicated by the Apostle Peter: to render an account for the hope that is in us (1 Pt 3:15).
After the Marian prayer, Francis mentioned first the peoples of Central America and Colombia (especially some of its islands), hit by hurricanes and bad weather. Then he spoke about the Mass he celebrated in the morning and yesterday's consistory. Greeting all the people who had come to celebrate the 13 new cardinals, he asked them to pray for the new latter.
Lastly, he urged everyone to "get something good even out of this time” of pandemic, and enjoy "greater sobriety, [and show] discreet attention to neighbours who may need help, with a few moments dedicated to family prayer”.