At the Angelus, Pope Francis expresses "great sorrow" for the massacre on November 24 in Egypt. "The kingship of God: Solidarity with those who suffer to arouse attitudes and works of mercy everywhere". "That beggar, the needy who tend their hand to us is Jesus; that child, that prisoner ... ". Mother Catalina de María Rodríguez was beatified yesterday in Cordoba (Argentina). Tonight Francis leaves for Myanmar and Bangladesh.
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - "Those people were praying at that moment. We too in silence, pray ... ": with these words Pope Francis invited the nearly 20,000 pilgrims to pray for the victims of the massacre that took place in the Al Roda mosque on November 24 in the village of Bir Al-Abd near Al-Arish , in North Sinai.
The pontiff had sent a telegram condemning the slaughter and expressing his solidarity to the entire Egyptian people. Inviting the pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square for the Angelus to prayer, the pontiff said: "Dear brothers and sisters, the news of the massacre in a mosque in northern Sinai in Egypt in Friday caused us all great pain. I continue to pray for the many victims, for the wounded and for the whole community, so severely affected. May God free us from these tragedies and sustain the efforts of all those who work for peace, harmony and coexistence. "
Earlier, Pope Francis focused on the gospel of today's solemnity, Christ the King, that highlights the passage on universal judgment (Matthew 25: 31-46).
"This word," said the Pope, "never ceases to impact us, because it reveals to what extent God's love comes to us: to the point of being identified with us, but not when we are well, when we are healthy and happy , but when we are in need. And in this hidden way He allow us meet Him, holding out His hand to us as a beggar. Thus Jesus reveals the decisive criterion of his judgment, that is, the concrete love for the neighbor in distress. And thus reveals the power of love, the royalty of God: Solidarity with those who suffer to arouse attitudes and works of mercy everywhere. "
"The parable of judgment continues by presenting the king who deprives those who during their lifetime did not care about the needs of their brothers. Even then, they remain surprised and ask, "Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or stranger or naked, ill or in prison, and have not served you?" (V. 44). Subtly: "If we had seen you, we would certainly have helped you!" But the king will reply: "All you did not do to one of these little ones, you did not do to me" (v. 45). At the end of our life we will be judged on love, that is, on our concrete commitment to loving and serving Jesus in our younger and needy brethren. That beggar, the needy who tends his hand to us is Jesus; that child, that prisoner ... ".
"Jesus - he concluded - will come at the end of time to judge all the nations, but he comes to us every day, in so many ways, and asks us to welcome him. May the Virgin Mary help us to meet and receive him in his Word and the Eucharist, and at the same time in the brothers and sisters suffering from hunger, illness, oppression, and injustice. May our hearts welcome him in our life today, so we may be are welcomed by Him into the eternity of His Kingdom of Light and Peace. "
After the Angelus and silent prayer for the massacre in Egypt, Francis recalledd that yesterday, in Córdoba (Argentina), mother Catalina de María Rodríguez was proclaimed blessed. She was the founder of the Congregation of Hermanas Esclavas of Corazón de Jesús, the first institute religious woman of apostolic life in Argentina.
Before taking his leave of the pilgrims, he recalled that tonight he will begin his journey to Myanmar and Bangladesh. "I ask you - he added - to accompany me with prayer, so my presence for both of these nations is a sign of closeness and hope."