05/30/2020, 19.58
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Pope: Let the pandemic lead to new ways to proclaim Jesus

Francis wrote to the priests of the Diocese of Rome. “Let us participate with Jesus in his passion, our passion, so as to also experience with him the power of the resurrection: certainty that God’s love can move feelings and go out into the intersections of road to share ‘glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord’ (cf. Lk 4:18-19), with the joy that everyone can actively participate with their dignity of the children of the living God.”

 

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Pope Francis has written a letter for Pentecost to the priests of “his” diocese, centred on new ways to proclaim the presence of Jesus.  In it, he notes that as various activities restart, locked down by a pandemic that has weakened the consumer society, it will become “essential to develop an attentive yet hopeful capacity to listen, one that is serene yet tenacious, constant yet not anxious, one that can prepare and pave the ways on which the Lord invites us to travel.”

“We have all seen the numbers and percentages that beset us day after day; with our hands we touched the pain of our people,” reads the letter. “The ancestral fear of contagion has come back to strike with a vengeance. We equally shared the distress and concerns of families who don't know what they can put on their plates next week. We have felt our own vulnerability and helplessness.”

“Our usual ways of relating to one another, of organising, celebrating, praying, summoning and even dealing with conflicts have been modified and challenged by an invisible presence that has turned our daily lives into adversity. This is not only a personal, family matter, something specific to a social group or country. The traits of the virus do away with the logic with which we used to divide or categorise reality. The pandemic knows neither labels nor boundaries and no one can dream of dealing with it alone. We are all affected and involved.”

“Exposed and affected personally and collectively in our vulnerability and fragility and within our limits, we run the serious risk of withdrawing and 'mulling over' the desolation that the pandemic has thrown at us,” not to mention of “plunging ourselves in an unlimited optimism, unable to accept the real character of events.”

In reality, the issue at hand is developing new paths and ways of life, conscious that the Risen Jesus came and brought the Holy Spirit to his disciples who, frightened after the crucifixion, shut down the Cenacle.

“The Lord has not chosen or sought an ideal situation to barge into the life of his disciples. We would have certainly preferred that what happened had not happened, but it did happen; and, like the disciples in Emmaus, saddened, we too can continue to whisper along the way (cf. Lk 24: 13-21). By presenting himself in the Cenacle behind closed doors, amid the isolation, fear and insecurity in which they lived, the Lord was able to transform every logic and give new meaning to history and events. Every age is right for the proclamation of peace; no circumstance is devoid of grace.”

“Let us be surprised once again by the Risen One. Let it be him – from his wounded side, a sign of how hard and unjust reality can become – to push us not to turn our backs on the hard and difficult reality of our brothers and sisters. May he teach us to accompany, heal and dress the wounds of our people.”

“Let us participate with Jesus in his passion, our passion, so as to also experience with him the power of the resurrection,” i.e. the “certainty that God’s love can move feelings and go out to crossroads to share ‘glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord’ (cf. Lk 4:18-19), with the joy that everyone can actively participate with their dignity of the children of the living God.”

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