11/16/2016, 12.54
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Pope: Protect children, stop them from being exploited and ensure their right to education

A work of mercy "that we all know very well, but perhaps we do not practice as we should: patiently endure annoying people". "In the Bible we see that God must be merciful to bear the complaints of his people." And "Jesus, how much patience he should have had in the three years of his public life."


Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Protecting children, preventing them from being exploited or abused, and instead ensuring their right to school education. This was Pope Francis’ appeal today at the end of the last general audience of the Holy Year, which will end next Sunday.

The Pope's call was in a view to World Day of Rights, which will be celebrated on November 20. "I appeal to everyone’s  conscience, to institutions and families, so that children are always protected and their welfare is protected, so that they never fall into forms of slavery, recruitment into armed groups or mistreated. I hope that the international community remain vigilant over these lives,  ensuring every child the right to a school education so that their growth is serene and they can look confidently to the future".

Previously, Francis had dedicated the catechesis for the general audience to a work of mercy "that we all know very well, but perhaps we do not practice as we should: patiently enduring wrongs and there are so many eh!". A "forbearance" to which he has joined "the need to advise, admonish and teach" others.

"We are all very good – he said - at identifying an annoying presence: it happens when we meet someone in the street, or when we receive a phone call ... We think: 'How long do I have to listen to the complaints, the gossip, the claims and boasts of this person? '. It also happens sometimes that those closest to us are annoying people: among relatives there is always someone; they are never lacking in the workplace; not even in our spare time are free we. What should we do with annoying people? Well, often we are troublesome to others, too! Why is bearing wrongs patiently included among the works of mercy? ".

"In the Bible we see that God must be merciful to bear the complaints of his people. For example in the book of Exodus the people are really unbearable: First they lament the fact they are slaves in Egypt, and God delivers them; then, in the desert, they complain that there is no food (see 16.3), and God sends quails and manna (see 16.13 to 16), but despite this the complaints do not cease. Moses acts as a mediator between God and the people, and he sometimes must have annoyed the Lord. But God has been patient and so taught to Moses and to the people even this essential dimension of the faith ".

"Thus we spontaneously ask a question: Do we ever examine our conscience to see if we, at times, can be annoying to others? It's easy to point fingers at the flaws and failings, but we should learn to put ourselves in others' shoes. We should look especially to Jesus: how much patience he had to have in the three years of his public life! Once, while he was walking with his disciples, he was stopped by the mother of James and John, who told him: "Make it that these my two sons may sit, one at your right and one at your left, in your kingdom" (Mt 20: , 21) the mother was looking out for the interests of her children eh, always the mother. Even from that situation, Jesus was inspired to give a fundamental teaching: His is not a kingdom of power and glory as those lands, but of service and giving to others. Jesus teaches us to always go to the essentials and to look deeper at the responsibly of our mission. This recalls two other spiritual works of mercy: to warn sinners and to teach the ignorant. Think of the great effort we make in helping people grow in faith and life. I think, for example, of the catechists - among whom there are many mothers and many religious - who give their time to teach children the basics of the faith. How much effort, especially when the children prefer to play rather than listen to the catechism”.

"Accompanying people in their search for the essential  is beautiful and important, because it makes us share in the joy of tasting the meaning of life. We often come across people who dwell on superficial, ephemeral and trivial things; sometimes because they have not met anyone that stimulated them to look for something else, to appreciate the true treasures. Teaching to look to the essentials is a decisive help, especially in a time like ours that seems to have lost its bearings and chases short-sighted satisfaction. Teaching to find out what the Lord wants from us and how we can respond to it means setting out on the path to grow in our vocation, the path of true joy. So the words of Jesus to the mother of James and John, and then to the whole group of disciples, point the way to avoid falling prey to envy, ambition, and flattery, temptations that are always lurking among us Christians . The need to advise, admonish and teach should not make us feel superior to others, but first of all obliges us to return to ourselves to see if we are consistent with what we ask of others. Do not forget the words of Jesus: "Why do you see the speck that is in your brother and not notice the beam that is in thine own eye?" (Lk 6:41). May the Holy Spirit help us to be patient in enduring and humble and simple in recommending".

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