Pope: Mission of the Church and Christian witness, no to immobility

At the Angelus, Pope Francis recalls the Day for Life, which this year has as its theme "Open the doors to life". A Haily Mary and an applause for consecrated persons on the day dedicated to them. "Every baptized person has received a vocation to proclaim, to announce Jesus". "The ability to be amazed at the things around us promotes religious experience."

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - "Immobilism is not suitable for Christian witness and the mission of the Church" stewssed Pope Francis today in his reflection before the Angelus prayer together with the pilgrims in St. Peter's square.

Today the Church celebrates the Presentation of the Lord together with the World Day of Consecrated Life, which - said Francis - recalls "the great treasure in the Church of those who follow the Lord closely by professing the evangelical counsels".

Referring to the Gospel of the Mass (Luke 2: 22-40), the pontiff highlighted some attitudes of the characters mentioned there: Mary, Joseph, Simeone, Anna.

“The first attitude - he said - is movement. Mary and Joseph walk towards Jerusalem; for his part, Simeone, moved by the Spirit, goes to the temple, while Anna serves God day and night ceaselessly. In this way the four protagonists of the Gospel passage show us that Christian life requires dynamism and willingness to move, letting ourselves be guided by the Holy Spirit. Immobilism does not suit Christian witness and the mission of the Church. The world needs Christians who let themselves be moved, who never tire of walking the streets of life, to bring  the consoling word of Jesus to everyone. Every baptized person has received a vocation to proclaim, to announce Jesus, to the evangelizing mission! Parishes and different ecclesial communities are called to encourage the commitment of young people, families and the elderly, so that everyone can have a Christian experience, living the life and mission of the Church as protagonists."

The second attitude "is amazement ... These figures of believers are enveloped in amazement, because they allow themselves be captured and involved by the events that happened before their eyes. The ability to be amazed at the things around us promotes religious experience and renders our encounter with the Lord fruitful. On the contrary, the inability to be amazed makes us indifferent and widens the distances between the journey of faith and everyday life ".

"Brothers and sisters - he added - may we always be on the move and open to amazement!"

"May the Virgin Mary - he concluded - help us to contemplate God's gift for us every day in Jesus, and to let ourselves be involved by him in the movement of the gift, with joyful amazement, so that our whole life may becomE praise to God in the service of others".

After the Marian prayer, Francis recalled that today the Day for Life is celebrated in Italy, which has as its theme "Open the doors to life".

He said "I am united to the Message of the Bishops and I hope that this Day will be an opportunity to renew the commitment to protect and protect human life from the beginning until its natural end. It is also necessary to combat any form of violation of dignity, even when technology or the economy is at stake, opening the doors to new forms of solidarity fraternity ".

The pope then invited all those present to recite a Hail Mary and to applaud all the consecrated men and women "who do so many beautiful things often in secret".

Finally the Holy Father also had special greetings for a group of Japanese pilgrims.