Sunday, February 21, 2021

Pope Francis says "Let us open our hearts, saying with faith: "Jesus, I trust in You". Remembering 90th Anniversary of Divine Mercy - FULL TEXT + Video

 
POPE FRANCIS at ANGELUS

St. Peter's Square
Sunday, February 21, 2021


 Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

Last Wednesday, with the penitential rite of ashes , we began the journey of Lent. Today, the first Sunday of this liturgical season, the Word of God shows us the way to live fruitfully the forty days leading up to the annual celebration of Easter. It is the path followed by Jesus, which the Gospel, with the essential style of Mark, summarizes by saying that he, before beginning his preaching, withdrew for forty days in the desert, where he was tempted by Satan (cf. 1: 12-15 ).  

The Evangelist emphasizes that “ the Spirit he drove Jesus into the desert "(v. 12). The Holy Spirit, descended on him immediately after the baptism received by John in the Jordan River, the same Spirit now pushes him to go into the desert, to face the Tempter, to fight the devil. The whole existence of Jesus is placed under the sign of the Spirit of God, who animates, inspires, guides him.

But let's think of the desert. Let us pause for a moment on this natural and symbolic environment, which is so important in the Bible. The desert is the place where God speaks to the heart of man, and where the answer of prayer flows, that is, the desert of solitude, the heart detached from other things and alone, in that solitude, opens to the Word of God. also the place of trial and temptation, where the Tempter, taking advantage of human frailty and needs, insinuates his false voice, an alternative to that of God, an alternative voice that shows you another way, another way of hoax. The Tempter seduces. In fact, during the forty days lived by Jesus in the desert, the "duel" between Jesus and the devil begins, which will end with the Passion and the Cross. The whole ministry of Christ is a struggle against the Evil One in its many manifestations: healings from diseases, exorcisms on the possessed, forgiveness of sins. After the first phase in which Jesus demonstrates that he speaks and acts with the power of God, it seems that the devil has the upper hand, when the Son of God is rejected, abandoned and, finally, captured and sentenced to death. It seems the winner is the devil. In reality, death was the last "desert" to cross to finally defeat Satan and free us all from his power. And so Jesus won in the desert of death to win in the Resurrection. the devil seems to have the upper hand when the Son of God is rejected, abandoned, and ultimately captured and sentenced to death. It seems the winner is the devil. In reality, death was the last "desert" to cross to finally defeat Satan and free us all from his power. And so Jesus won in the desert of death to win in the Resurrection. the devil seems to have the upper hand when the Son of God is rejected, abandoned, and ultimately captured and sentenced to death. It seems the winner is the devil. In reality, death was the last "desert" to cross to finally defeat Satan and free us all from his power. And so Jesus won in the desert of death to win in the Resurrection.

Every year, at the beginning of Lent, this Gospel of Jesus' temptations in the desert reminds us that the life of the Christian, in the footsteps of the Lord, is a battle against the spirit of evil. It shows us that Jesus willingly faced the Tempter and overcame him; and at the same time it reminds us that the devil is granted the possibility to act on us too with temptations. We must be aware of the presence of this cunning enemy, interested in our eternal doom, our failure, and prepare to defend ourselves against him and fight him. God's grace assures us, with faith, prayer and penance, victory over the enemy. But I would like to emphasize one thing: in temptations Jesus never talks with the devil, never. In his life Jesus never had a dialogue with the devil, never. Either he drives him away from the possessed or condemns him or shows his malice, but never a dialogue. And in the desert there seems to be a dialogue because the devil makes three proposals to him and Jesus responds. But Jesus does not respond with his words; responds with the Word of God, with three passages of Scripture. And this we must all do too. When the seducer approaches, he begins to seduce us: "But think this, do that ...". The temptation is to dialogue with him, as Eve did; and if we enter into dialogue with the devil we will be defeated. Put this in your head and heart: with the devil there is never a dialogue, there is no possible dialogue. Only the Word of God. But Jesus does not respond with his words; responds with the Word of God, with three passages of Scripture. And this we must all do too. When the seducer approaches, he begins to seduce us: "But think this, do that ...". The temptation is to dialogue with him, as Eve did; and if we enter into dialogue with the devil we will be defeated. Put this in your head and heart: with the devil there is never a dialogue, there is no possible dialogue. Only the Word of God. But Jesus does not respond with his words; responds with the Word of God, with three passages of Scripture. And this we must all do too. When the seducer approaches, he begins to seduce us: "But think this, do that ...". The temptation is to dialogue with him, as Eve did; and if we enter into dialogue with the devil we will be defeated. Put this in your head and heart: with the devil there is never a dialogue, there is no possible dialogue. Only the Word of God. with the devil there is never dialogue, there is no possible dialogue. Only the Word of God. with the devil there is never dialogue, there is no possible dialogue. Only the Word of God.

In the time of Lent, the Holy Spirit urges us too, like Jesus, to enter the desert. It is not a question - we have seen - of a physical place, but of an existential dimension in which to be silent, to listen to the word of God, "so that true conversion may take place in us" ( Collect Prayer I Dom. Of Lent B ) . Do not be afraid of the desert, look for more moments of prayer, of silence, to enter into ourselves. Do not be afraid. We are called to walk on God's paths, renewing the promises of our Baptism: renounce Satan, all his works and all his seductions. The enemy is crouched there, be careful. But never converse with him. We entrust ourselves to the maternal intercession of the Virgin Mary.


After the Angelus

Dear brothers and sisters!

I address my cordial greeting to all of you, Romans and pilgrims. In particular, I greet the Polish faithful. Today my thoughts go to the Shrine of Płock, in Poland, where ninety years ago the Lord Jesus manifested himself to Saint Faustina Kowalska, entrusting her with a special message of Divine Mercy. Through Saint John Paul II , that message has reached the whole world, and it is none other than the Gospel of Jesus Christ, who died and rose, who gives us the mercy of the Father. Let us open our hearts, saying with faith: "Jesus, I trust in You".

I greet the young people and adults of the Talità Kum group of the parish of San Giovanni dei Fiorentini in Rome. Thanks for your presence! And go forward with joy in your good projects.

I wish everyone a beautiful Sunday: beautiful, it's sunny, and a happy Sunday! And please don't forget to pray for me. Have a good lunch and goodbye!

FULL TEXT Source: Vatican.va

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