ANGELUS (Full Video at bottom of this post)
St. Peter's Square
Sunday, January 26, 2020
Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!
Today's Gospel (cf Mt 4: 12-23) shows us the beginning of Jesus' public mission. This happened in Galilee, a land on the outskirts of Jerusalem, and looked upon with suspicion for mixing with the pagans. Nothing good and new was expected from that region; instead, right there Jesus, who had grown up in Nazareth of Galilee, begins his preaching.
He proclaims the central core of his teaching summarized in the appeal: "Get converted, because the kingdom of heaven is near" (v. 17). This announcement is like a powerful beam of light that crosses the darkness and cuts through the fog, and evokes the prophecy of Isaiah that is read on Christmas night: «The people who walked in darkness saw a great light; on those who walked in the dark earth a light shone "(9,1). With the coming of Jesus, light of the world, God the Father showed humanity his closeness and friendship. They are given to us freely beyond our merits. The closeness of God and the friendship of God are not our merit: they are a free gift of God. We must guard this gift.
The appeal to conversion, which Jesus addresses to all men of good will, is fully understood precisely in the light of the event of the manifestation of the Son of God, on which we meditated on past Sundays. Many times it is impossible to change your life, abandon the path of selfishness, of evil, abandon the path of sin because the commitment to conversion focuses only on yourself and on your own strength, and not on Christ and his Spirit. But our adherence to the Lord cannot be reduced to a personal effort, no. To believe this would also be a sin of pride. Our adhesion to the Lord cannot be reduced to a personal effort, instead it must be expressed in a confident opening of the heart and mind to welcome the Good News of Jesus. It is this - the Word of Jesus, the Good News of Jesus, the Gospel - that changes the world and hearts! We are therefore called to trust the word of Christ, to open ourselves to the Father's mercy and allow ourselves to be transformed by the grace of the Holy Spirit.
It is from here that the true path of conversion begins. Just as it happened to the first disciples: the encounter with the divine Master, with his gaze, with his word gave them the impulse to follow him, to change his life by putting himself concretely at the service of the Kingdom of God.
The surprising and decisive encounter with Jesus began the journey of the disciples, transforming them into announcers and witnesses of God's love for his people. In imitation of these first heralds and messengers of the Word of God, each of us can take steps in the footsteps of the Savior, to offer hope to those who are thirsty for it.
May the Virgin Mary, to whom we turn in this Angelus prayer, support these purposes and support them with her maternal intercession.
Dear brothers and sisters!
Today for the first time we are celebrating the Sunday of the Word of God, instituted to celebrate and welcome ever better the gift that God has made and daily makes of his Word to his People. I thank the Dioceses, I thank the communities that have proposed initiatives to recall the centrality of Sacred Scripture in the life of the Church.
Tomorrow marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp. In the face of this huge tragedy, this atrocity, indifference is not admissible and memory is a must. Tomorrow we are all invited to make a moment of prayer and recollection, saying each one in his own heart: never again, never again!
World Hansen's Day of Illness is celebrated today. We are close to all the people who are affected and to those who take care of them in different ways.
I also want to be close and pray for people who are sick because of the virus that has spread to China. May the Lord welcome the deceased in his peace, comfort families and support the great commitment of the Chinese community, already put in place to fight the epidemic.
I greet all of you who have come from Italy and from various countries, especially the pilgrims from Valencia, Salamanca, Burgos, Santander and Valladolid; students and educators from Murcia, Cuenca, Badajoz, and those from Panama.
I greet the faithful from Tursi and the UNITALSI group from Lazio, which facilitates the participation of disabled people in general audiences and at the Angelus, and which today distributes the Messaline with the Word of God every day.
Now the comrades [two boys from the ACR next to the Pope] have arrived. I warmly greet the boys and girls of Catholic Action, of the Catholic parishes and schools of the Diocese of Rome! Also this year, accompanied by the Auxiliary Bishop Mons. Selvadagi, by your parents and educators and by the assistant priests, you came in large numbers at the end of the "Caravan of Peace". I thank you for this initiative. And now let's listen to the message that your friends, here next to me, will read to us.
[Reading the message and at the end throwing balloons]
I wish everyone a good Sunday. And please, don't forget to pray for me. Have a good lunch and goodbye!
Full Text Source: Vatican.va - Unofficial Translation