Pope Francis says "It is the task of the Christian to" make "...the light of Christ shine" and proclaim "his Gospel." Full Text-Video


St. Peter's Square
Sunday, February 9, 2020

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

In today's Gospel (cf Mt 5: 13-16), Jesus says to his disciples: "You are the salt of the earth [...]. You are the light of the world "(vv. 13.14). He uses symbolic language to indicate to those who intend to follow him some criteria for living presence and witness in the world.

First image: salt. Salt is the element that gives flavor and that preserves and preserves food from corruption. The disciple is therefore called to keep away from society the dangers, the corrosive germs that pollute people's lives. It is a question of resisting moral degradation, of sin, testifying to the values ​​of honesty and fraternity, without giving in to the worldly enticements of arrival, power and wealth. The disciple is "salt" who, despite the daily failures - because we all have them -, gets up from the dust of his mistakes, starting again with courage and patience, every day, to seek dialogue and meeting with others. The disciple is "salt" who does not seek consensus and praise, but strives to be a humble, constructive presence, in fidelity to the teachings of Jesus who came into the world not to be served, but to serve. And this attitude is so much needed!

The second image that Jesus proposes to his disciples is that of light: "You are the light of the world". Light dispels darkness and allows you to see. Jesus is the light that has dispelled the darkness, but they still remain in the world and in individual people. It is the task of the Christian to disperse it by making the light of Christ shine and proclaiming his Gospel. It is an radiation which can also derive from our words, but must above all stem from our "good works" (v. 16). A disciple and a Christian community are light in the world when they direct others to God, helping each one to experience his goodness and his mercy. Jesus' disciple is light when he knows how to live his faith outside confined spaces, when he helps to eliminate prejudices, to eliminate slanders, and to let the light of truth enter into situations spoiled by hypocrisy and lies. Make light. But it is not my light, it is the light of Jesus: we are tools for the light of Jesus to reach everyone.

Jesus invites us not to be afraid to live in the world, even if in it there are sometimes conditions of conflict and sin. In the face of violence, injustice, oppression, the Christian cannot close in on himself or hide in the safety of his own fence; even the Church cannot close in on herself, she cannot abandon her mission of evangelization and service. At the Last Supper, Jesus asked the Father not to remove the disciples from the world, to leave them there in the world, but to keep them from the spirit of the world. The Church spends herself generously and tenderly on the little ones and the poor: this is not the spirit of the world, this is its light, it is salt. The Church listens to the cry of the least and excluded, because it is aware of being a pilgrim community called to prolong the salvific presence of Jesus Christ in history.

May the Holy Virgin help us to be salt and light in the midst of people, bringing to everyone, with life and word, the Good News of God's love.

After Angelus

Dear brothers and sisters,

yesterday, in the liturgical memory of Saint Josephine Bakhita, the World Day of Prayer and Reflection against Trafficking in Persons was celebrated. To heal this plague - because it's a real plague! - which exploits the weakest, everyone's commitment is needed: institutions, associations and educational agencies. On the prevention front, I would like to point out how various research shows that criminal organizations are increasingly using modern means of communication to entice victims with deception. Therefore, it is necessary on the one hand to educate about the healthy use of technological means, on the other to supervise and call the suppliers of these telematic services to their responsibilities.

Painful news continues to come from the north-west of Syria, in particular on the conditions of many women and children, of people forced to flee due to military escalation. I renew my heartfelt appeal to the international community and to all the actors involved to make use of diplomatic instruments, dialogue and negotiations, in compliance with International Humanitarian Law, to safeguard the life and fate of civilians. Let us pray for this beloved and tormented Syria: Ave Maria,…

I greet all of you from Italy and other countries, especially the pilgrims from Seville, Carmona and Cadiz.
I greet the faithful from Milan, Naples-Fuorigrotta, Portici and Crispano; the boys of the Confirmation of Rosolina and those of Prato; the participants in the International Symposium promoted by the Catholic Action on the theme "Pedagogy of holiness".

And I wish everyone a good Sunday. Please don't forget to pray for me. Have a good lunch and goodbye!
FULL TEXT Source: Vatican.va - Unofficial Translation