At the Angelus, Pope Francis comments on the "do not be afraid" of the gospel: hostility towards proclamation to silence it; persecution until death; the feeling of being abandoned by God. "Ensuring the necessary protection" for refugees. "Being more responsible for the care of the common home" and a greeting to the young people with the example of St. Luigi Gonzaga who died at a very young age, treating plague patients.
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - "The grace of God is always more powerful than evil": thus Pope Francis concluded his reflection on today's gospel (Matthew 10, 26-33), introducing the Angelus prayer with the faithful in St. Peter's square.
The pope also made an appeal for the care of refugees on the occasion of the UN World Refugee Day, which was yesterday and for the care of our "common home", that is the environment. The pontiff also expressed a special prayer for young people, on the day when the Church remembers St. Luigi Gonzaga.
Commenting on the gospel, Francis stressed that Jesus invites his apostles to "not be afraid", describing "three concrete situations that they will face".
The first is "the hostility of those who would like to stifle the Word of God, by sugar- coating it or by silencing those who proclaim it." The disciples must "announce" from the housetops", that is, publicly, his Gospel".
The second difficulty is persecution until killing. “How many Christians are persecuted even today throughout the world! If they suffer for the Gospel and with love, they the are martyrs of our days.…. There is no need to be frightened of those who seek to extinguish evangelizing power with arrogance and violence. ... The only fear that the disciple must have is that of losing ... closeness, friendship with God ".
The third test is when the disciples will have the feeling "that God himself has abandoned them, remaining distant and silent". The pope recalled that "Jesus too" has experienced this experience in the garden of olives and on the cross. And he added:" The Father takes care of us, because our value is great in his eyes. What is important is the frankness of our witness of faith: “recognizing Jesus before men” is the condition for being “recognized” by Jesus before the Father."
"May Most Holy Mary - he concluded - May Mary Most Holy, model of trust and abandonment in God in the hour of adversity and danger, help us never to surrender to despair, but rather always to entrust ourselves to him and to his grace, which is more powerful than evil."
After the Angelus prayer, quoting the UN refugee day, the pope said that "The coronavirus crisis has highlighted the need to ensure the necessary protection for refugees too, in order to guarantee their dignity and safety. I invite you to join me in praying for a renewed and effective commitment, on the part of us all, to the effective protection of every human being, especially those who have been forced to flee as a result of situations of grave danger to them or their families."
Francis then pointed out that during the lockdown for the pandemic we rediscovered "the beauty of many places free from traffic and noise. Now, with the resumption of activities, we should all be more responsible for the care of the common home ". And he mentioned some "bottom-up" initiatives for the defense and care of the environment.
Finally, greeting the young people, he said: “today we remember Saint Aloysius Gonzaga, a young man full of love for God and for his neighbour; he died very young, here in Rome, as a result of caring for plague victims. I entrust young people throughout the world to his intercession.”