Pope: Today the Mother of God blesses us by showing us her Son
During the Angelus, Pope Francis called on "believers and non-believers” to let themselves “be blessed” and “open our heart to his [Jesus’s] goodness.” He added that “Contemplating the Crèche we see, through the eyes of faith, the world renewed, freed from the dominion of evil”. And “Jesus is the blessing for those who are oppressed by the yoke of moral and material slavery”, those “who have lost self-esteem", and those “who are victims of injustice and exploitation". The pontiff thanked those behind peace initiatives. He noted that “it cannot be taken for granted that our planet started to revolve again around the sun”. Indeed, it is “always a ‘miracle’ to be surprised by and thankful for.” He apologised for losing his patience.
Vatican City (AsiaNews) – On the first day of the year, which the Church has dedicated to Mary Mother of God, she “blesses us by showing us her Son ... She blesses the entire Church; she blesses the entire world,” said Pope Francis today in his address to the pilgrims gathered in St Peter's Square before the Angelus.
"For this reason,” he explained, “Saint Pope Paul VI decided to dedicate the first day of the year to peace: prayer, awareness and responsibility for peace. For the year 2020, the message is as follows: peace is a journey of hope, a journey in which we move forward through dialogue, reconciliation and ecological conversion.”
The eyes of faith give birth to the positive attitude about the new year. "Contemplating the Crèche we see, through the eyes of faith, the world renewed, freed from the dominion of evil and placed under the royal lordship of Christ, the Child who lies in the manger.”
For the Holy Father, “it cannot be taken for granted that our planet started to revolve again around the sun and that we human beings continue to live on it. This cannot be taken for granted; it is, in fact, always a ‘miracle’ to be surprised by and thankful for.”
“Jesus did not remove evil from the world but defeated it at the root. His salvation is ‘patient’, not magical, i.e., it involves the patience of love". In fact, “We all lose our patience, too. My apologies to you.”
“So let us set our gaze on the Mother and on the Son she shows us. At the start of the year, let us be blessed! Jesus is the blessing for those who are oppressed by the yoke of moral and material slavery. He liberates through love. To those who lost their self-esteem by remaining prisoners of vicious turns, Jesus said that the Father loves them, does not abandon them, awaits their return with unwavering patience (cf. Lk 15:20).
“To those who are victims of injustice and exploitation and see no way out, Jesus opens the door of brotherhood, a place to find welcoming faces, hearts and hands, to share bitterness and despair, and regain some dignity. To those who are seriously ill and feel abandoned and discouraged, Jesus comes close, touches the wounds with tenderness, pours the oil of consolation and transforms weakness into power to undo the most tangled knots. To those imprisoned and tempted to turn inward, Jesus reopens a horizon of hope, starting from a small glimmer of light.”
“Dear brothers and sisters, let us step off the pedestal of our pride – We are all tempted by pride – and ask for the blessing of the Holy Mother of God. She shows us Jesus: let us be blessed, open our hearts to his goodness. Hence, the year that begins will be a journey of hope and peace, not in words but in daily deeds of dialogue, reconciliation and care for creation.”
After the Angelus prayer, Francis first asked all the pilgrims to repeat the invocation “Holy Mother of God” three times, as he did during the homily in this morning’s Mass. Then he extended his best wishes to everyone, and thanked Italian president Sergio Mattarella, who yesterday mentioned him in his Speech to the Nation.
Francis also greeted and encouraged "all the initiatives for peace that particular churches, associations and ecclesial movements have promoted for this Day of Peace".
“My thoughts,” he added, “also go to the many volunteers who, in places where peace and justice are threatened, choose with courage to be present in a nonviolent and unarmed form”. This goes “as well as for military personnel operating in peacekeeping missions in many conflict zones. Thank you very much to them.”
Lastly, "To all, believers and non-believers, I wish for them to never stop hoping for a world of peace, to be built together day by day.”