08/14/2022, 16.07
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Pope: special mercy and prayer ‘for the martyred Ukrainian people’

During the Angelus, the pontiff noted that Jesus came to earth to “bring the fire” of the Gospel, which "is not a lullaby". He called on the faithful to choose “change and conversion" setting us “in motion”. This involves the Church, in which the Holy Spirit must “burn”. The pontiff devoted some thoughts to the “grave humanitarian crisis in Somalia” and the 20th anniversary of the Act of Entrustment by Saint John Paul II.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – In today’s Angelus, Pope Francis asked the Lord for “special mercy” and a prayer for the "martyred Ukrainian people”. Je also spoke about the 20th anniversary of the Act of Entrustment Saint John Paul II made at the shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow, Poland.

Addressing the “many pilgrims” in Poland and St Peter's Square, the pontiff sent them a “warm greeting” and a "special thought". He noted that on 17 August 2002 in Łagiewniki, at the tomb of Saint Faustina Kowalska, Pope John Paul II solemnly entrusted the world to Divine Mercy, citing Jesus’s pledge to the mystic.

At the end of the Marian prayer, the pope spoke once again about the conflicts and violence that continue to cover the planet in blood; in addition to Ukraine, Francis drew “attention" to the “grave humanitarian crisis that afflicts Somalia" and “neighbouring countries.”

The peoples of the region, he added in a heartfelt tone, "live in very precarious conditions” facing a “mortal danger due to drought”.

For this reason, he called for “international solidarity” to respond "effectively to this emergency”, which cannot be resolved as long as wars and conflicts continue to “divert attention” from the “fight against hunger” and for “health and education.”

At the start of the Angelus, the pontiff noted how Jesus came to “bring the fire” of the Gospel to earth. His message “burns the old balances of living, burns the old balances of living, challenges us to come out of our individualism, challenges us to overcome selfishness, challenges us to shift from the slavery of sin and death to the new life of the Risen One, of the Risen Jesus.”

The Gospel, the pope went on to say, “provokes change and invites conversion. It does not dispense a false intimist peace, but sparks a restlessness that sets us in motion, and drives us to open up to God and to our brothers. It is just like fire: while it warms us with God’s love, it wants to burn our selfishness, to enlighten the dark sides of life – we all have them, eh! – to consume the false idols that enslave us.”

Like the prophets Elijah and Jeremiah in the Old Testament, “Jesus is inflamed by God’s love and, to make it spread throughout the world, he expends himself personally, loving up to the end, that is, up to death, and death on the cross.”

The pontiff praised the whole gift, the extreme sacrifice of oneself thanks to the "Holy Spirit" who, like fire, can give light and strength, revealing "the mysterious face of God”. As a source of "hope" for those who are “considered lost”, he “breaks down the barriers of marginalization, heals the wounds of the body and the soul, and renews a religiosity that was reduced to external practices.”

Quoting French theologian Cardinal Henri de Lubac, Francis described what Jesus said as a call to "rekindle the flame of faith", enabling us to act while not producing “a paralyzing illusion or a complacent satisfaction. [. . .] In short, faith is not a ‘lullaby’ that lulls us to sleep. True faith is a fire, a living flame to keep us wakeful and active even at night!”

The pontiff notes that this also touches the Church herself. In her communities, “the Spirit [must] burn, with the passion for prayer and charity, and the joy of faith”.

Lastly, the pope urged believers to examine their faith because we too can be “inflamed with the fire of God’s love, and we want to spread it around the world, to take it to everyone, so that each person may discover the tenderness of the Father and experience the joy of Jesus, who enlarges the heart [. . .] and makes life beautiful.”

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