03/12/2023, 15.43
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Pope: too many brothers and sisters lack water to live

Pope Francis's appeal during the Angelus comes on the Sunday the liturgy proposes the Gospel passage about the Samaritan woman. Meanwhile, the earth “continues to be polluted and defaced. Exhausted and parched, she too ‘is thirsty’.” During next Friday’s “24 Hours for the Lord”, the pontiff will hear confessions in a Roman parish.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Pope Francis today spoke to the faithful in St Peter's Square during the Sunday Angelus prayer, reminding them that like Jesus at the well of the Samaritan woman, today's world also says in many ways: Give me a drink!

Commenting on the Gospel of John in today’s liturgy on the journey of Lent, the pontiff described it as “an image of God’s abasement. [. . .] Thirsty like us, he suffers our same thirst.”

Francis cited Don Primo Mazzolari (1890-1959), an Italian parish priest jailed for his anti-fascist activities: “So, he is thirsty like me. He shares my thirst. You are truly near me, Lord! You are in touch with my poverty. [. . .] ‘You have grasped me from below, from the lowest part of myself, where no one reaches me’.”

Indeed, “the Lord who asks for a drink is the One who gives to drink,” the pope explained. “Thirsty for love, Jesus quenches our thirst with love. And he does with us what he did with the Samaritan woman – he comes to meet us in our daily life, he shares our thirst, he promises us living water that makes eternal life well up within us.”

Even today, the cry of thirst rises from the world. “How many say ‘give me a drink’ to us – in our family, at work, in other places we find ourselves. They thirst for closeness, for attention, for a listening ear. People say it who thirst for the Word of God and need to find an oasis in the Church where they can drink.”

“Give me a drink is a cry heard in our society, where the frenetic pace, the rush to consume, and especially indifference, that culture of indifference, generate aridity and interior emptiness. And – let us not forget this – ‘give me a drink’ is the cry of many brothers and sisters who lack the water to live, while our common home continues to be polluted and defaced. Exhausted and parched, she too ‘is thirsty’.”

From this comes the call to all to nurture the “thirst for God" and become a “refreshing spring for others.”

At the end of the Angelus, Francis announced the “24 hours for the Lord" next Friday and Saturday in dioceses around the world, an initiative undertaken by the Dicastery for Evangelisation, with time dedicated to Eucharistic adoration and the sacrament of Reconciliation.

Next Friday afternoon, the pope will go in person to the Roman parish of Santa Maria delle Grazie al Trionfale, where he will hear the confessions of the faithful.

In connection with this initiative, the pontiff noted that last year he had carried out the consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary to obtain the gift of peace.

This year, he urged everyone to persevere again in praying to Our Lady, especially keeping the martyred Ukrainian people in our hearts.

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