At the Angelus, Pope Francis makes the pilgrims pray for the victims of terrorist attacks in Germany and Afghanistan, against the "dark security and peace prospects." "The word 'Father' is the 'secret' of the prayer of Jesus, is the key that He gives to us so we too can enter into that confidential relationship of dialogue with the Father who accompanied and supported all his life”. The Pope’s upcoming trip for World Youth Day in Krakow, from 27 July.
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - An appeal to hope and against terrorism, along with prayer for the dead in Monaco of Bavaria and in Kabul was launched by Pope Francis at the end of today's Angelus prayer in St. Peter's Square.
"At this time our soul is once again moved by sad news related to deplorable acts of terrorism and of violence, which have caused sorrow and death,” the Pope said. “I think of the dramatic events in Munich in Germany, and in Kabul in Afghanistan, where many innocent people lost their lives. I am close to the families of the victims and the wounded. I invite you to join in my prayers that the Lord will inspire that the Lord might inspire in everyone intentions of goodness and fraternity. The more difficulties might seem insurmountable, and prospects of security and peace seem obscure,” he said, “the more insistent must our prayer be.” At the conclusion of the appeal, after a moment of silence, the pope prayed the Hail Mary together with the pilgrims.
Francis had previously explained the value of Jesus' prayer, the Lord's Prayer, referring to the Sunday Gospel (XVII per year, C, Luke 11: 1-13). "The Gospel of this Sunday - said the pontiff - opens with the scene of Jesus praying, alone, aloof; when it ends, the disciples asked him, "Lord, teach us to pray" (v. 1); and He says, "When you pray, say: 'Father ...'" (v. 2). This word is the 'secret' of the prayer of Jesus, is the key that He gives to us because we can get ourselves into that confidential dialogue relationship with the Father that accompanied and supported him all his life.
With the title 'Father' Jesus combines two requests: "Hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come" (v. 2). The prayer of Jesus, and therefore the Christian prayer, is first and foremost making space for God, leaving him to show his holiness in us and advancing his reign, starting with the possibility of exercising his loving lordship in our lives .
Three other requests complete the 'Our Father' in the version of Luke. There are three requests that express our basic need: bread, forgiveness and help in temptation (cf. vv. 3-4). We can not live without bread, without forgiveness, or without the help in temptations.
Jesus makes us ask for the bread we need, not superfluous; it is the bread of pilgrims, a bread that does not accumulate and is not wasted, that does not weigh down our journey. Forgiveness is, first of all, what we ourselves receive from God: only the awareness of being sinners pardoned by the infinite mercy of God can enable us to make concrete gestures of fraternal reconciliation.
If we do not feel ourselves to be sinners, we will never be capable of a gesture of forgiveness and reconciliation. A heart that feels forgiven ... everything starts from here, from the heart.
The last request, "not into temptation," expresses the awareness of our condition, always exposed to the snares of evil and corruption.
Jesus' teaching on prayer continues with two parables which he modeled on the attitude of a friend against another friend, and that of a father against his son (cf. vv. 5-12). Both want to teach us to have full confidence in God, who is Father. He knows us better than we know ourselves, he knows our needs, but wants to present them to him boldly and insistently, that this is the way we participate in His work of salvation. Prayer is our primary and principal 'working tool'! Listen carefully to this ...
Insisting with God does not mean convincing him, but strengthening our faith and our patience, which is our ability to fight together with God for the things that really matter and are necessary. When we pray we are in two: God and I, to fight together for the important things.
Among these, there is one that is more important than all others, Jesus says in the Gospel, but which we hardly ever we ask for, and it is the Holy Spirit. Jesus says: "If you, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!" (V. 13). But what good is the Holy Spirit? We need the Spirit to live well, to live with wisdom and love, doing the will of God.
What a beautiful prayer would be that each of us this week ask the Holy Spirit: Father, give me the Holy Spirit.
Our Lady shows this with her life, entirely animated by the Spirit of God. May she help us to pray to the Father united to Jesus, to live not in a mundane way, but according to the Gospel, guided by the Holy Spirit ".
After the Angelus and after the appeal against terrorism, the pontiff recalled the important event of the World Youth Day in Krakow.
"In these days - said Francis - many young people from all over the world are moving towards Krakow, where the Thirty-first World Youth Day will take place. I leave next Wednesday, to meet these young boys and girls, and to celebrate with them and for them the Jubilee of Mercy, with the intercession of St. John Paul II. I ask you to accompany us with prayer. As of now I greet and thank those who are working to welcome the young pilgrims, with many bishops, priests, religious men and women. A special greeting to the many peers who, unable to be present in person, will follow the event through the media. We will all be united in prayer. "
During the Angelus, Pope Francis said that today is the World Day of the Sick. The pontiff also registered via the Internet for World Youth Day in Panama in January 2019, and mentioned that 23 February will be day of prayer and fasting for peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
During the Angelus, Pope Francis made an appeal for Afghanistan, which was hit by terrorist attacks in recent days. He also mentioned World Leprosy Day. Two young people from Azione Cattolica read a Message of Peace. "Jesus is our Teacher, powerful in words and deeds."
The Message for the 32nd World Youth Day was issued today centred on “The ‘great things’ that the Almighty accomplished’.” In her meeting with Elizabeth, Mary becomes a model. The pontiff calls on young people to avoid being couch potatoes, safe and cosy, urges them to rediscover the relationship with seniors. The Church experience is not a flash mob. The future should be experienced in a constructive way, and “the institutions of marriage, consecrated life and priestly mission” should not be devalued.
Pope Francis celebrated Palm Sunday with tens of thousands of young people on World Youth Day. "[A]s we joyfully acclaim our King, let us also think of the sufferings that he will have to endure in this week,” he said. “Jesus never promised honour and success. [. . .] He had always warned his friends that [. . .] the final victory would be achieved through the passion and the cross.” He did not ask us to contemplate him “only in pictures and photographs, or in the videos” but in his presence “in our many brothers and sisters who today endure sufferings like his own”. Krakow youth passed the WYD cross to their counterparts from Panama. The pontiff mentioned the recent attacks in Sweden and Egypt.
"Our Asian pilgrims not only bring the grandeur, the vitality and beauty of Asia, but also the multi-cultural diversity, pluralism as well as Asian values of hospitality and family and, of course, the Church of the young.” Asia youth come to discover Krakow and the charisma of John Paul II, founder of the WYD.