Vatican City ( AsiaNews) - Jesus
began his mission, starting from Galilee , "the outskirts" , and
chose as his disciples people who had a "low profile", "this teaches
us that no one is excluded from God's salvation, indeed, that God prefers to
begin from the outskirts, from the least among us to then reach out to everyone".
was the Pope's Angelus reflection on the Gospel this Sunday that recounts the
beginning of Jesus' public life in the towns and villages of Galilee.
From Galilee to the Far East,
because at the end of the Marian prayer, Pope Francis noted that "in the coming
days, millions of people who live in the Far East or who are scattered in
various parts of the world, among them Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese, celebrate
the Lunar New Year. I wish all of them a life full of joy and hope. May the irrepressible
yearning for fraternity, which dwells in their hearts, find in the intimacy of
the family a privileged place to be
discovered, educated and realized. This will
be a valuable contribution to the building of a more humane world, where peace
Before speaking of the New Lunar
Year to 50 thousand people present in St Peter's Square, the Pope recalled that
"this Sunday's Gospel recounts the beginning of Jesus' public life in the
towns and villages of Galilee". "It
is a border land, a transit area, where people of different race, culture and
religion meet. Galilee becomes the symbolic place for the opening of the Gospel
to all peoples. From this point of view, Galilee is
similar to the world today: the coexistence of different cultures, the need for
encounter and confrontation. We, too, are immersed every day in a ' Galilee of
the Gentiles ' , and in this context we may become afraid and give in to the
temptation to build fences to feel safer, more protected. Yet Jesus teaches us
that the Good News is not reserved for a certain section of humanity, it is for
everyone. It is Good News destined for those who are waiting to receive it, but
also to those who perhaps are not waiting for anything and who do not even have
the strength to seek and ask for it".
"Starting from Galilee,
Jesus teaches us that no one is excluded from God's salvation, indeed, that God
prefers to start from the outskirts, from the least, to reach everyone. He teaches
us a method, his method , but it expresses a content, the Father's
mercy. " Each Christian and every community
must discern the path that the Lord points out, but all of us are asked to obey
his call to go forth from our own comfort zone in order to reach all the
"peripheries" in need of the light of the Gospel" (Apostolic
Exhortation . Evangelii gaudium, 20).
Jesus begins his mission not only from a decentralized place, but also among
people of a 'low-profile', so to speak. He choose for his future apostles and
the first disciples, not among scholars, scribes and doctors of the law, but to
the humble and simple people , who are preparing in earnest for the coming of
the Kingdom of God. Jesus calls them where they work, on the shore of the lake
where they are fishing. He calls them, and they immediately follow. They leave
their nets and go with Him, their lives become an extraordinary and fascinating
"The Lord also calls us today!
He walks the streets of our daily lives, he even walks in this square, He calls
us to go with Him, with Him to work for the Kingdom of God , in "the
Galilee" of our times. And if someone feels
that the Lord is calling, take courage, follow him , the Lord never
disappoints. We must let His gaze fall upon us and follow him! So that the joy
of the Gospel reach the ends of the earth and no place on the outskirts is
devoid of its light".
The Pope had various appeals to
make following the recitation of the Angelus prayer. He spoke of Ukraine and his closeness in
prayer to the nation and its people "especially those who lost their lives
these days and their families. I hope -
he added - that a constructive dialogue between the institutions and the civil
society will develop, avoiding any recourse to violent actions, that the spirit
of peace and the pursuit of the common good prevail in every heart".
The Pope also recalled that today
"we mark the World Day for Leprosy Sufferers.
This disease, although in decline, unfortunately still affects many people in
conditions of severe poverty. It is important to keep solidarity for these
brothers and sisters alive.
We must assure them of our prayers, and we also pray for all those who care for
them and who, in many ways, strive to defeat this disease".
The Pope's final thoughts went to
Coco Campolongo, the Italian toddler whose burned body was discovered in a car.
us pray with Coco - he said - who without any doubt is in heaven with Jesus,
for these people who have committed this crime, that they repent and be
The appointment with the Pope
concluded with two young children from Catholic Action Rome, who, as every
year, at the conclusion of the "Caravan of Peace" read a message and released
two white doves.