08/11/2019, 13.20
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Pope: Living and acting on this earth whilst longing for heaven in our hearts

During the Angelus, Pope Francis suggested attitudes to "grasp God’s passage in one's life". Like pilgrims, we must “be ready with clothes tight around the hips” and keep “lights burning” to enlighten with faith "the many ‘nights’ of life". The eternal joy of heaven means that “the servants, that is, us, will no longer serve God, but God himself will put himself at our service." The pontiff cited the 70th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions, which "impose limits on the use of force and are aimed at protecting civilians and prisoners in time of war." War and terrorism represent "the great human defeat".

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Pope Francis said "We must live and act on this earth longing for heaven in our hearts" in his address to pilgrims gathered in St Peter's Square, before the Angelus prayer.

In commenting today’s Gospel (19th of the year, C, Lk 12: 32-48), which speaks about the need for "continuous vigilance, to grasp God’s passage in one's life,” Francis stressed that the Gospel passage suggests two attitudes.

First of all, we must “be ready with clothes tight around the hips”, an image that refers to pilgrims’ attitude, ready to set out. It is about not setting root in comfortable and reassuring dwellings, but of abandoning oneself with simplicity and trust to God’s will, which guides us towards the next goal. In fact, those who trust God know well that the life of faith is something dynamic, not static; it is a continuous journey, to move towards ever new stages, which the Lord himself indicates day after day.”

The second attitude is "to keep ‘the lamps burning’”, for "We are invited, that is, to live an authentic and mature faith, capable of illuminating the many ‘nights’ of life. The lamp of faith needs to be refuelled continuously, with a heart to heart encounter with Jesus in prayer and in listening to his Word. This lamp is entrusted to us for the good of all." The Pope here advised again believers to carry with him or her a Gospel to read every day.

"Life,” he went on to say, “is a journey towards eternity; therefore, we are called to make all talents bear fruit, without ever forgetting that ‘we have no lasting city, but we seek the one that is to come’ (Heb 13:14). In this perspective, every moment becomes precious, so it is necessary to live and act on this earth, longing for heaven in our hearts."

"We cannot really understand what this supreme joy consists of; yet Jesus makes us see with the analogy of the master who, finding his servants still awake on his return, ‘will gird himself, have them recline at table, and proceed to wait on them’ (Lk 12: 37). The eternal joy of heaven is thus manifested: the situation is turned upside down, and the servants, that is, us, will no longer serve God, but God himself will put himself at our service."

After the Marian prayer, the pontiff said that "tomorrow marks the 70th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions, important international legal instruments that impose limits on the use of force and are aimed at protecting civilians and prisoners in time of war."

"May this anniversary,” he added, “make states ever more aware of the indispensable need to protect the life and dignity of the victims of armed conflicts. Everyone must observe the limits imposed by international humanitarian law, protecting unarmed populations and civil structures, especially hospitals, schools, places of worship, refugee camps. Let us not forget that war and terrorism are always a serious loss for humanity as a whole. They are the great human defeat."

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