Pope: Close to the people of Indonesia following Surabaya church attacks
At the Regina Caeli Pope Francis prays for the victims and their relatives of the three churches targeted in suicide bomb attacks. A silent prayer. The solemnity of the Ascension "urges us to look up at heaven, and then immediately project it on earth". "The mission entrusted by Jesus to the Apostles ... continues today: it requires all our collaboration ". A "boundless mission", supported by the Holy Spirit. World Communications Day. Mother's Day.
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Pope Francis is "close to the dear people of Indonesia, especially the Christian communities of the city of Surabaya" following a series of attacks that targeted three churches, one Catholic and two Protestant this morning leaving many dead and dozens injured.
Speaking today after the recital of the Regina Caeli with the pilgrims gathered in St Peter's Square, the Pope added: "I raise my prayer for the victims and their relatives. Together we invoke the God of peace to stop these violent actions, and that feelings of hatred and violence be replaced in people’s heart with reconciliation and fraternity ". He then asked everyone to pray in silence.
Previously, the pontiff had explained the meaning of the solemnity of the Ascension of Jesus to heaven, which is celebrated today in Italy and in other parts of the world on the seventh Sunday of Easter time.
This feast, he said, "urges us to look up to heaven, and then immediately project it here on earth, carrying out the tasks that the risen Lord entrusts to us".
"The event of the Ascension - he continued - comes immediately after the mission that Jesus entrusts to the disciples. It is a boundless mission - that is, literally without boundaries - that exceeds human forces. In fact, Jesus says: "Go into all the world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature" (Mk 16:15). It really seems too daring a task that Jesus entrusts to a small group of simple men and without great intellectual abilities! Yet this sparse company, irrelevant to the great powers of the world, is sent to bring the message of love and mercy of Jesus to every corner of the earth ".
"But this project of God can only be achieved by the power that God Himself grants to the Apostles. In this sense, Jesus assures them that their mission will be sustained by the Holy Spirit "(cf. Acts 1: 8).
"The mission entrusted by Jesus to the Apostles has continued throughout the centuries, and continues today: it requires all of our collaboration. In fact, each of them, by virtue of the baptism he has received, is entitled to proclaim the Gospel ... It is about being men and women of the Ascension, that is, seeking Christ along the paths of our time, carrying his word of salvation to the ends of the earth. In this journey we encounter Christ himself our brothers, especially in the poorest, in those who suffer in their own flesh the harsh and mortifying experience of old and new poverty. As at the beginning the Risen Christ sent his apostles with the power of the Holy Spirit, so today he sends us, with the same strength, to place concrete and visible signs of hope ".
"As the Virgin Mary - he concluded - who, as the Mother of the Lord died and rose, animated the faith of the first community of disciples, may she also help us to keep" our hearts high ", as he exhorts us to do the Liturgy. And at the same time help us to have 'our feet on the ground', and to sow the Gospel with courage in the concrete situations of life and history ".
The Pope then recalled that today the Church celebrates the World Day of Social Communications, on the theme "Fake news - that is false news - and journalism of peace ". In this regard, Francis has already published a message on the subject months ago. The pontiff then greeted "all media workers, especially journalists who are committed to seeking the truth of the news, contributing to a just and peaceful society".
Since in Italy and in other parts of the world Mother's Day is celebrated today, Francis asked "an applause for mothers" and added: "I would like to thank all the mothers for their safeguarding of families and I would also like to remember the mothers in heaven , who continue to help us ".