Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Pope Francis led the faithful in St Peter's Square in the recitation of the Angelus on the first Sunday of the new year, saying, “Especially in this Holy Year of Mercy, let us make sure that the Gospel becomes ever more flesh in our own lives too”.
During the final greetings, he also reiterated how to incarnate the Gospel "in daily life” in the “advice I gave you many times: read a passage every day, a passage of the Gospel, to know Jesus better, to open our hearts to Jesus, and make him known to others better."
The pope took the opportunity of the "incarnation" of the Gospel in today's Mass (Second Sunday after Christmas, Jn 1: 1-18), the prologue to the Gospel of John, to note that “‘the Word’ – that is, the creative Word of God – was made flesh, and dwelt among us’ (Jn 1:14). That Word, which dwells in heaven, that is, in the dimension of God, came to earth so that we might listen and be able to know and touch with our hand the love of the Father.”
The pope spoke about the Word’s rejection, where the Gospel says, “they did not receive Him” and instead “closed the door in the face of the Son of God”. He explained that “the mystery of evil that insinuates [itself] into our lives, too, [. . .] demands vigilance and care on our part so that it will not prevail. The Book of Genesis says, in a good sentence that makes us understand this – it says that evil ‘lies in wait at our door’ (cfr. Gn 4:7). Woe to us if we allow it to enter [for] it would then close our door to everyone else. Instead, we are called to throw open the door of our heart to the Word of God, to Jesus, in order thus to become His children.
“Especially in this Holy Year of Mercy, let us make sure that the Gospel becomes ever more flesh in our own lives too. Drawing near to the Gospel, meditating on it and incarnating it in daily life is the best way to understand Jesus and bring Him to others. This is the vocation and the joy of every baptised person: showing Jesus and giving Him to others. But to do this, we have to know Him, and have Him within us, as the Lord of our life. He will defend us from evil, from the devil. He is always lying in wait by our door, and wants to enter.
Therefore it is important to entrust ourselves to Mary. "Let us contemplate the sweet image of the mother of Jesus and our mother in these days of the crib."
After the Marian prayer, the pontiff greeted the various groups of pilgrims present in the square, at least 30,000. He then renewed his best wishes of Happy New Year. "I renew to all good wishes of peace and good tidings in the Lord. In happy times and in bad times, let us entrust ourselves to Him who is our compassion and our hope."
"I also remember,” he added, “the commitment we made on New Year’s Day, Day of Peace: ‘Overcome indifference and win peace'. With the grace of God, we can put it into practice."