On the banks of the Jordan River, "there is therefore all of humanity, with its unexpressed yearning for prayer. There is, above all, the population of sinners: those who thought they were not beloved by God, those who did not dare cross the threshold of the temple, those who did not pray because they did not consider themselves worthy. Jesus came for everyone, even for them, and He begins precisely by joining them”. Participation in the "pain of the families of school children killed in Kumba, Cameroon".
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - With his prayer, from the beginning of his public mission on the banks of the River Jordan, Jesus "opened the heavens", with him, "there is therefore all of humanity, with its unexpressed yearning for prayer. There is, above all, the population of sinners". Because Jesus "is not a distant God". "Jesus, a man of prayer" was the topic that Pope Francis spoke about at today's general audience, in the Paul VI hall.
During the meeting, Francis also expressed his participation in the "pain of the families of young students killed in Kumba, Cameroon". The Pope expressed "grave bewilderment at such a cruel and senseless act that snatched the innocent little ones from life while they were following lessons at school".
"May God enlighten hearts so that similar gestures are no longer carried out and so that those tormented populations can finally find peace".
"I hope that the weapons will be silenced and that the safety of all is guaranteed as well as the right of young people to an education and to the future".
The incident to which he referred occurred last Saturday, October 24: a group of armed men broke into the classrooms of the Mother Francisca elementary school in the city of Kumba, Cameroon and opened fire on the children. At least eight were killed and twelve others were injured.
Previously, he had once again told the thousands of people present at the audience that he could not go around to "greet everyone", in order to avoid crowds. "And this is part of the measures, the precautions that we must take in front of this 'lady' called Covid and who hurts us so much. For this, excuse me if I do not come down to greet you: I greet you from here but I carry you in my heart, everyone. And please, carry me in your heart, and pray for me. From a distance, we can pray for one another ".
In the catechesis, he underlined the significance of the presence of Jesus at the Jordan. “He prays with the sinners of the people of God. He does not stay on the opposite side of the river, to mark His difference and distance from the disobedient people, but rather He immerses His feet in the same purifying waters. Jesus is not a distant God, and He cannot be. Incarnation revealed Him in a complete and humanly unthinkable way. Thus, inaugurating His mission, Jesus places Himself at the forefront of a people of penitents, as if He were responsible for opening a breach through which all of us, after Him, must have the courage to pass. “
" On that day, on the bank of the river Jordan, there is therefore all of humanity, with its unexpressed yearning for prayer. There is, above all, the population of sinners: those who thought they were not beloved by God, those who did not dare cross the threshold of the temple, those who did not pray because they did not consider themselves worthy. Jesus came for everyone, even for them, and He begins precisely by joining them. The Gospel of Luke, in particular, highlights the climate of prayer in which the baptism of Jesus took place: “Now when all the people were baptised, and when Jesus also had been baptised and was praying, the heaven was opened” (3: 21). By praying, Jesus opens the door to the heavens, and the Holy Spirit descends from that breach. And from on high a voice proclaims the wonderful truth: “Thou art my beloved Son; with thee I am well pleased” (v. 22)."
And for this reason " Therefore, if during an evening of prayer we feel sluggish and empty, if it seems to us that life has been completely useless, we must at that moment beg that Jesus' prayer also become our own. We will then hear a voice from heaven, louder than the voice rising from the depths of ourselves, whispering words of tenderness: “You are God's beloved, you are a son, you are the joy of the Father in heaven”. Just for us, for each one of us, echoes the word of the Father: even if we were rejected by all, sinners of the worst kind. Jesus did not descend into the waters of the Jordan for Himself, but for all of us. He opened the heavens, as Moses opened the waters of the Red Sea, so that we could all pass behind Him. Jesus gave us His own prayer, which is His loving dialogue with the Father. He gave it to us like a seed of the Trinity, which He wants to take root in our hearts. Let us welcome him!”.
Then addressing the Poles, Francis said: “Last October 22 we celebrated the liturgical memory of Saint John Paul II, in this centenary year of his birth. He has always urged a privileged love for the least and defenceless and for the protection of every human being, from conception to natural death. Through the intercession of Mary Most Holy and the Holy Polish Pontiff, I ask God to arouse in the hearts of all respect for the life of our brothers, especially the most fragile and defenceless, and to give strength to those who welcome and care for them. , even when this requires heroic love ”.