03/02/2014, 00.00
VATICAN

Pope launches "pressing appeal" for Ukraine, for "all initiatives in favor of dialogue and harmony"

"This week we begin Lent, which is the journey of the People of God towards Easter, a journey of conversion, to combat evil with the weapons of prayer, fasting and mercy". "The shroud has no pockets! It is better to share, because we bring into Heaven only what we have shared with others".

Vatican City ( AsiaNews) - "A pressin appeal" was launched by Pope Francis for Ukraine this Sunday, with the hope that "all parts of the country will endeavor to overcome misunderstandings and build together the future of the nation, a peaceful solution, I address a pressing appeal to the international community to support all initiatives to promote dialogue and harmony".

The tensions in the country that "is going through a delicate situation" marked the Angelus address this week.  Before launching his appeal the Pope repeated that we "can not serve two masters" and noted that "This week we begin Lent, which is the journey of the people of God towards Easter, a journey of conversion, to combat evil with the weapons of prayer, fasting and mercy. Humanity needs justice, reconciliation and peace, which can be achieved only by turning wholeheartedly to God, who is its source (...) May we begin Lent with a spirit of worship of God and fraternal solidarity with those who, in these times, they are most in need and tested by violent conflict".

Before the Marian prayer, the Pope , quoting the liturgy of the day, spoke of the passage from the Gospel of Matthew in which Jesus speaks of Divine Providence, according to which "the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them...Learn from the way the wild flowers grow. They do not work or spin. But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendour was clothed like one of them" (Mt 6,26.28-29 ) .Thinking of so many people living in precarious conditions, or even in poverty that offends their dignity, these words of Jesus may seem abstract, if not illusory. But in reality today they are truer than ever! They remind us that we can not serve two masters: God and wealth. As long as each one of us looks out for our own interests, there will never be justice. If instead, trusting in the providence of God, we seek his kingdom together, then no one will be lacking what they need to live with dignity".

"A heart occupied with the fury of possession, is a heart empty of God. Jesus warned the rich several times of this, because the risk of placing their own safety in the goods of this world is strong in them. In a heart possessed by wealth, there is no room for faith. If instead we allow God his place, that is first place [in our hearts], then His love leads us to share the wealth, to being open to projects of solidarity and development, as seen in the many examples, also recently, in history of the Church. You know that the shroud has no pockets! It is better to share, because we bring into Heaven only what we have shared with others".

"The road that Jesus indicates may seem unrealistic with respect to the prevailing mentality and problems of the economic crisis, but if we think about it, it points us towards the right scale of values. He says: "Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? " (Mt 6,25).

"In order to make sure that no one lacks bread, water, clothing, housing, work, health, - concluded the Pope - we must all recognize that we are children of the Father who is in heaven , and then brothers and sisters, and we behave accordingly. I recalled in my Message for Peace on January 1 this year: the path to peace is through fraternity. This journeying together, sharing with each other".

 

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