10/03/2021, 13.51
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Pope: May the hands that wipe away tears hold together to make peace in Myanmar

During the Angelus, the pontiff made a new appeal for peace in the increasingly violence-torn Asian country. In the commentary on the Gospel, the Pope spoke about “recognising oneself as small”, which is a starting point to become big, truly opening one's heart to Jesus. After more 100 deaths in an Ecuadorian prison, Francis called for praying to God to heal "the wounds of the crime that enslaves the poorest”.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Pope Francis addressed a few thousand faithful in St Peter's Square at the end of today’s Angelus, making a new appeal for peace in the “beloved land of Myanmar”, torn by fighting between the military and ethnic militias, especially in Chin State.

While the world follows developments in Myanmar with decreasing interest, fighting and repression are intensifying eight months after the coup d'état of 1 February. In view of the situation, the pontiff urged the faithful to pray that “the hands of those who live in this country not have to wipe away more tears of pain and death,” instead, may they “hold together to overcome difficulties and work together for the advent of peace.”

The appeal for Myanmar came immediately after Pope Francis expressed sorrow over news from Ecuador about the violence in a Guayaquil prison that cost the lives of more than 100 people.

“May God help us,” he said’ “heal the wounds of crime that enslaves the poorest and help those who work every day to make life in prisons more humane.”

Before the Angelus, Francis gave a commentary about the Gospel passage in today's liturgy, focusing on the “rather unusual reaction of Jesus”, who was indignant “not with those who argue with him, but with those who, to ease his tiredness, moved the children away from him.”

This story became the occasion for a reflection on smallness as a way to welcome the Lord.

“The disciple,” the Pope said, “must not only serve the little ones, but must see himself as little. This is the first step to open ourselves up to the Lord. Often, however, we forget it. In prosperity, in well-being, we have the illusion of being self-sufficient, that we can be enough for ourselves, of not needing God. We must seek our littleness and recognise it. That is where we will find Jesus.”

“In life recognising oneself as small is a starting point for becoming big. We grow not so much on the basis of successes and the things we have, but above all in moments of struggle and fragility. There, needful, we mature; there we open our hearts to God, to others, to the meaning of life.”

In this sense, “with God frailties are not obstacles but opportunities. A beautiful prayer would be like this – ‘Lord, look at my frailties ...’ and then list them before him. This is a good attitude before God. In fact, it is in frailty that we surely discover how much God takes care of us.”

“Those who pray with perseverance know this well; in moments of darkness or solitude, God's tenderness towards us becomes ever more present. The Lord hugs us to himself, like a father with his child. Thus, we become big, not in the illusory claim of our self-sufficiency – this does not make anyone big – but in the strength of placing all hope in the Father. Just like the little ones do.”

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