Pope: prayer is the gentle force that protects and sustains the world
At the Angelus, the pontiff urges the faithful not to get tired from praying for peace, nor forget the victims of wars around the world. A prophet is not someone “who foretells the future”, but someone “who points Jesus out to others”. For this reason, in the Church, “even the littlest [. . .] have something important to say”.
Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Pope Francis spoke this morning at the end of the Angelus, inviting the faithful present in St Peter's Square to pray for the victims of the many wars causing bloodshed around the world.
For the pontiff, praying provides the “gentle strength that protects and sustains the world;” hence, “even during summertime, let us not tyre of praying for peace, especially for the people of Ukraine who are so beleaguered. And let us not neglect the other wars so often unfortunately forgotten, and the numerous conflicts and clashes that stain many parts of the world with blood. There are so many wars today. Let us take an interest in what is happening, let us help those who suffer and let us pray.”
Turning to the Gospel passage in today’s liturgy (Mt 10:41), Francis looks at the real traits of a prophet. Some, he said, “imagine a prophet to be some type of magician who foretells the future. But this is a superstitious idea and a Christian does not believe in superstitions, such as magic, tarot cards, horoscopes and other similar things.”
In reality, “A prophet is the one who, by virtue of Baptism, helps others read the present under the action of the Holy Spirit [. . .] who helps to understand God’s plans and correspond to them. In other words, the prophet is the one who points Jesus out to others, who bears witness to him, who helps live today and to build the future according to his designs.”
This raises some questions. “Do I, who am ‘a prophet by election’ through Baptism, do I speak, and above all, do I live as a witness of Jesus? Do I bring a little bit of his light into the life of another person?”
For Francis, the Gospel provides the answer by telling us “to welcome the prophets.” Indeed, “it is important to welcome each other as such, as bearers of God’s message, each one according to his state and vocation, and to do it right where we live – that is, in the family, in the parish, in the religious community, in other places in the Church and in society.
“The Spirit has distributed gifts of prophecy in the holy People of God. This is why it is good to listen to everyone. For example, when an important decision needs to be made – let us think about this – it is good to pray first of all, to call on the Spirit, but then to listen and dialogue trusting that each person, even the littlest, because they have something important to say, a prophetic gift to share.
“Thus, the truth is sought and the climate is spread of listening to God and our brothers and sisters where people do not feel welcome because they say what I like, but they feel accepted and valued as the gifts they are.”