St. Peter's Square
Sunday, 27 October 2019
Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!
The Mass celebrated this morning in St. Peter's concluded the Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazonian Region. The first reading, from the Book of Sirach, reminded us of the starting point of this journey: the invocation of the poor, who "crosses the clouds", because "God hears the prayer of the oppressed" (Sir 35: 21.16). The cry of the poor, together with that of the earth, came to us from the Amazon. After these three weeks we can't pretend not to have heard it. The voices of the poor, together with those of many others inside and outside the Synod Assembly - Pastors, young people, scientists - push us not to remain indifferent. We have often heard the phrase "later it is too late": this sentence cannot remain a slogan.
What was the Synod? It was, as the word says, a walk together, comforted by the courage and consolations that come from the Lord. We walked looking into each other's eyes and listening to each other, sincerely, without hiding the difficulties, experiencing the beauty of moving forward together, to serve. The Apostle Paul stimulates us in this second reading today: in a dramatic moment for him, while he knows that "he is about to be paid in the offering - that is, executed - and that the time has come to leave this life" (see 2 Tm 4 , 6), he writes, at that moment: "The Lord, however, was close to me and gave me strength, so that I could bring the proclamation of the Gospel to completion and all the nations heard him" (v. 17). Here is Paul's last wish: not something for himself or for some of his people, but for the Gospel, so that it may be announced to all peoples. This comes first and counts most of all. Each of us will have asked ourselves many times what to do good for our lives; today is the time; let us ask ourselves: "I, what can I do good for the Gospel?"
We asked ourselves at the Synod, eager to open new paths for the proclamation of the Gospel. Only what is lived is announced. And to live of Jesus, to live of the Gospel we must go out of ourselves. We then felt encouraged to take off, to leave the comfortable shores of our safe ports to go deep into the waters: not in the swampy waters of ideologies, but in the open sea where the Spirit invites us to cast our nets.
For the journey to come, let us invoke the Virgin Mary, venerated and loved as Queen of Amazonia. She became not conquering but "inculturated": with the humble courage of her mother she became the protector of her children, the defense of the oppressed. Always going to the culture of peoples. There is no standard culture, there is no pure culture that purifies the others; there is the Gospel, pure, which is inculturated. To her, who took care of Jesus in the poor house of Nazareth, we entrust the poorest children and our common home.
After the Angelus
Dear brothers and sisters,
I address a special thought to the beloved Lebanese people, in particular young people, who in recent days have made their cries heard in the face of the country's social, moral and economic challenges and problems. I urge everyone to seek the right solutions in the way of dialogue, and I pray the Virgin Mary, Queen of Lebanon, so that, with the support of the international community, that country will continue to be a space of peaceful coexistence and respect for the dignity and freedom of every person, for the benefit of the entire Middle Eastern Region, who suffers so much.
I affectionately greet all of you, Italian pilgrims and those from various countries, especially those from Sao Paulo, Brazil and Poland, as well as the Céntro Académico Romano Fundación group from Spain.
I greet the Apostles of the Sacred Heart, who remember the centenary of their foundation; the Syro-Malabar community of the Diocese of Patti; and the seminarians of the Diocese of Reggio Emilia-Guastalla, who this morning served Mass in the Basilica. And I also see that there are Galimignano's candidates for confirmation: I greet you!
This is the last Sunday of October, a missionary month, which this year has had an extraordinary character, and is also the month of the Rosary. I renew the invitation to pray the Rosary for the mission of the Church today, especially for missionaries and missionaries who encounter greater difficulties. And at the same time we continue to pray the Rosary for peace. The Gospel and peace walk together.
I wish you all a happy Sunday. Please don't forget to pray for me. Good lunch and goodbye!
Full Text Source: Vatican.va - Unofficial Translation