Pope hopes that Lebanon can continue to be a message of respect and coexistence
People should not be afraid of God, as if he were "a master who wants to punish us". For the pope, “Jesus has always shown us that God is not a stern and intolerant master, but a father full of love, tenderness, and goodness. Therefore, we can and must have immense trust in Him.” The pontiff also urged “drivers to be prudent and respect the rules as the first form of protection of themselves and others.”
Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Pope Francis spoke about Lebanon after the Angelus, saying that he hoped the country “could continue to be a message of respect and coexistence for the whole region and the whole world.
In Lebanon, tensions are running high, and its people is one of those “that are experiencing painful suffering because of war and conflicts.” In view of this, the pontiff called on the international community “to make every possible effort to favour peace, in particular in the Middle East.”
The Holy Father also called for prayers "for the men of the crew of the missing Argentine military submarine”.
In his address to the 20,000 people present in St Peter's Square, Francis urged them to recite the Marian prayer and not to be afraid of God, as if he were "a bad, harsh and harsh master who wants to punish us". In reality, we should trust him because he is "a father full of love, tenderness, and goodness." The pope was inspired by the parable of talents (cf. Mt 25:14-30), which he talked about during the Mass celebrated in the Basilica for the First World Day of the Poor.
Francis noted that the servant who buried his talent told his “master, after he came back, why hid did it: ‘Master, I knew you were a demanding person, harvesting where you did not plant and gathering where you did not scatter; so out of fear I went off and buried your talent in the ground’ (Mt 25:24-25). This servant does not have a relationship with his master based on trust; he is afraid of him, and such fear stops him. Fear always immobilises and often leads to wrong choices. Fear discourages people from taking the initiative, leads people to take refuge in safe and guaranteed solutions, and so we end up doing nothing good. To go on and grow on the path of life, we have to trust."
"This parable makes us understand how important it is to have a true idea of God. We must not think that He is a bad, harsh and severe master who wants to punish us. If we hold this wrong image of God inside us, then our life cannot be fruitful, because we will live in fear and this will not lead us to anything constructive. On the contrary, fear will paralyse us, destroy us.”
In reality, “We are called to reflect in order to find out what our own idea of God really is. Already in the Old Testament He revealed himself as a ‘God gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in love and fidelity’ (Ex 34:6). Jesus has always shown us that God is not a stern and intolerant master, but a father full of love, tenderness, and goodness. Therefore, we can and must have immense trust in Him.”
“Jesus shows us the Father’s generosity and the attentiveness in so many ways: by his word, by his gestures, by his welcome to all, especially towards sinners, children and the poor – as the First World Day of the Poor also reminds us today, but also by his warnings that reveal his interest that we not waste our lives unnecessarily.”
“This is a sign that God has great esteem for us: this awareness can help us to be responsible in every one of our actions. Therefore, the parable of talents calls upon us to take on a personal responsibility and fidelity so that we are capable of continually placing ourselves on new roads, ‘without burying the talent’, namely the gifts that God has entrusted to us and which he will ask us to account for.”
“May the Blessed Virgin intercede for us, so that we may be faithful to God's will by fostering the talents he has given us. In so doing, we shall be useful to others and, on the last day, we shall be welcomed by the Lord, who will invite us to take part in his joy."
After the Angelus Pope Francis noted that "Yesterday, in Detroit, United States of America, Solanus Casey (born Bernard Francis Casey), a priest and a member of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin, was beatified. A humble and faithful disciple of Christ, he was known for his untiring service to the poor. May his witness help priests, (men and women) religious and laypeople live with joy the bond between the proclamation of the Gospel and love for the poor."
“This is what we wanted to focus on with today's World Day of the Poor, which in Rome and in the dioceses of the world is expressed in so many initiatives of prayer and sharing. I hope that the poor will be at the centre of our communities not only in times like this but always because they are at the heart of the Gospel. In them we meet Jesus who speaks to us and questions us through their sufferings and their needs. "
"Today," Francis said, "is also the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, established by the United Nations. I encourage public institutions to engage in prevention, and urge drivers to be prudent and respect the rules as the first form of protection of oneself and others.”