In the first Angelus of Advent, Pope Francis said that "the Lord’s visit with humanity", at Christmas, also takes place "every day" and will occur when "He will come in glory to judge the living and the dead." "The Gospel does not want to frighten us, but for us to widen our horizons". "... Our Lady help us to not consider ourselves owners of our lives, not to resist when the Lord comes to change it".
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - The Word of God in the first Sunday of Advent "brings out the contrast between the normal unfolding of things, the daily routine, and the sudden coming of the Lord” said Pope Francis commenting on the Sunday Gospel, before praying the Angelus with the faithful in St. Peter's Square.
Speaking of Advent, which begins today with a new liturgical year, he stressed that this liturgical season is dominated by the theme of the "the Lord’s visit with humanity. The first, in the past, with the Incarnation, and Birth of Jesus at Christmas; the second, in the present, as Jesus visits us continually, every day; and the final visit, in the future, when Jesus “will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead'".
Referring more specifically to the Gospel (Matthew 24.37-44), comparing with the visit of the Lord to the coming of a thief or a sudden natural disaster, the pontiff stated: "The Gospel does not want to frighten us, but to open up our horizon to another, greater dimension, which on one hand relativize every day occurrences but at the same time makes them precious, decisive. The relationship with the God-who-comes to visit with us gives every gesture, every thing a different light, importance, a symbolic value ".
"From this perspective - he added - it is an invitation to sobriety, to not be dominated by the things of this world” but rather to keep them in their proper place. If, on the other hand, we allow ourselves to be overpowered by a concern for material things, we will not be able to perceive what is much more important: our final encounter with the Lord".
"In this time of Advent - he concluded - we are called to enlarge the horizons of our hearts, to be surprised by the life that is presented each day with its newness. In order to do this we need to learn to not depend on our own securities, our own established plans, because the Lord comes in the hour which we don’t imagine”.
Our Lady, Virgin of Advent, help us not to consider ourselves owners of our lives, not to resist when the Lord comes to change it, but to be ready to go to him, as a welcome and expected guest, although it upsets our plans " .
After the Marian prayer and greetings with these groups, Francis returned to the subject of Advent: "I wish you all a good Sunday and a good Advent journey. May it be a time of hope! Real hope, founded on the faithfulness of God and on our responsibility. "