04/21/2024, 16.40
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Pope on Middle East: 'Do not give in to the logic of revenge’

The hope is that "the ways of dialogue, of diplomacy" will prevail; the latter according to the Pontiff "can do so much". After the recitation of the Regina Caeli, the prayer for the peoples of Palestine and Israel: "May they soon stop suffering". On the 61st Day of Prayer for Vocations: "Church polyphony of charisms and vocations at the service of the Gospel". 

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - An appeal "not to give in to the logic of claiming war" was launched by Pope Francis this morning, at the end of the recitation of the Marian prayer of the Regina Caeli.

From the window of the Vatican Apostolic Palace, the Pontiff opened his final speech by looking at what is happening in the Middle East, a situation that he follows "with concern, and also pain", he said.

“Instead, let the paths of dialogue and diplomacy prevail, which can do a lot”. Also last Sunday Bergoglio had called for "negotiation", the day after the Iranian attack on Israel.

“I pray every day for peace in Palestine, in Israel, and I hope that those two peoples can soon stop suffering.” These are the words that the Holy Father added today, making himself close to the pain of the two populations. The hope is that they can live close together, like two states.

This resolution was supported by the Pontiff also last Sunday. “Side by side, safely,” he said. A thought also followed for the "tortured Ukraine", an expression used twice in a row. The request is not to forget it. “He suffers a lot from the war,” he said.

A particular memory was dedicated to Father Matteo Pettinari, 42 years old, missionary of the Consolata Missionary Order, in the Ivory Coast for 13 years, who died on 18 April in the African country due to a road accident.

“It was with pain that I learned the news of his death,” said the Bishop of Rome. Explaining that he was known as “the tireless missionary”.

Originally from Monte San Vito (Ancona) and the diocese of Senigallia, Pettinari "left a great testimony of generous service. Let us pray for his soul,” added Pope Francis.

Today we celebrate the 61st World Day of Prayer for Vocations, with the theme Called to sow hope and build peace. “A beautiful opportunity to rediscover the Church as a community characterized by a polyphony of charisms and vocations at the service of the Gospel,” said Pope Francis this morning in front of a packed St. Peter's Square.

In the context of this Day, Bergoglio addressed a greeting to the 11 priests of the Diocese of Rome ordained yesterday in St. Peter's Basilica, asking them to pray for them. In the Pontiff's Message released for this occasion the invitation "to consider the precious gift of the call that the Lord addresses to each of us, his faithful people on the journey, so that we can take part in his project of love and embody the beauty of the Gospel ”.

Today, the fourth Sunday of Easter, before the recitation of the Marian prayer, Pope Francis commented on the Gospel of the day (Jn 10,11-18), in which Jesus says: "The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep" (v. 11).

Bergoglio explored the meaning of this expression. “Being a shepherd, especially in the time of Christ, was not just a job, it was a whole life,” he explained, saying that this activity led to living “in symbiosis” with animals, knowing them very well.

Likewise, “He, the Lord, shepherd of all of us, knows us, each of us, calls us by name and, when we get lost, he searches for us until he finds us,” continued the Holy Father. Jesus is in fact the Good Shepherd, "who sacrificed his life for us and, having risen, gave us his Spirit".

The invitation is therefore to think "that for Christ I am important, he thinks of me, I am irreplaceable, I am worth the infinite price of his life", Bergoglio told the people listening. “Because he loves me and finds a beauty in me that I often don't see.”

“Today Jesus tells us that we are always worth a lot to Him. And so, to find ourselves again, the first thing he does is put us in his presence", he explained. Getting close to Him is a way to rediscover "the secret of life". Pope Francis concluded the comment with these words: “May Our Lady help us to find in Jesus what is essential for life”.

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