ANGELUS with Pope Francis from the Vatican - Full Text + Video
Library of the Apostolic Palace
Sunday, March 29, 2020
Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!
The Gospel of this fifth Sunday of Lent is that of the resurrection of Lazarus (cf. Jn 11: 1-45). Lazarus was brother of Marta and Maria; they were very close to Jesus. When he arrives in Bethany, Lazarus has been dead for four days; Martha runs to meet the Master and says to him: "If you had been here, my brother would not have died!" (v. 21). Jesus replies: "Your brother will rise" (v. 23); and adds: «I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live "(v. 25). Jesus shows himself as the Lord of life, the One who is capable of giving life even to the dead. Then Mary and other people arrive, all in tears, and then Jesus - says the Gospel - "was deeply moved and [...] burst into tears" (vv. 33.35). With this disturbance in his heart, he goes to the grave, thanks the Father who always listens to him, opens the sepulcher and shouts loudly: "Lazarus, come out!" (v. 43). And Lazarus comes out with "his feet and hands tied with bandages, and his face wrapped in a shroud" (v. 44).
Here we touch with our hands that God is life and gives life, but takes on the drama of death. Jesus could have avoided the death of his friend Lazarus, but he wanted to make our pain for the death of loved ones his own, and above all he wanted to show God's dominion over death. In this passage of the Gospel we see that the faith of man and the omnipotence of God, of the love of God are sought and finally meet. It is like a double path: the faith of man and the omnipotence of the love of God that is sought and eventually met. We see it in the cry of Martha and Mary and all of us with them: "If you had been here! ...". And the answer of God is not a speech, no, the answer of God to the problem of death is Jesus: "I am the resurrection and the life ... Have faith! In the midst of crying, you continue to have faith, even if death seems to have won. Remove the stone from your heart! Let the Word of God bring life back to where there is death. "
Even today Jesus repeats to us: "Remove the stone". God did not create us for the grave, he created us for life, beautiful, good, joyful. But "death entered the world out of envy of the devil" (Wis 2,24), says the Book of Wisdom, and Jesus Christ came to free us from his snares.
Therefore, we are called to remove the stones of everything that tastes of death: for example, the hypocrisy with which faith is lived is death; destructive criticism of others is death; the offense, the slander, is death; the marginalization of the poor is death. The Lord asks us to remove these stones from the heart, and then life will still flourish around us. Christ lives, and whoever welcomes him and adheres to him comes into contact with life. Without Christ, or outside of Christ, not only is life not present, but one falls back into death.
The resurrection of Lazarus is also a sign of the regeneration that takes place in the believer through Baptism, with full insertion into the Paschal Mystery of Christ. By the action and strength of the Holy Spirit, the Christian is a person who walks in life like a new creature: a creature for life and who goes towards life.
May the Virgin Mary help us to be compassionate like her Son Jesus, who made our pain his own. Each of us is close to those who are in trial, becoming for them a reflection of the love and tenderness of God, who frees us from death and makes life win.
After the Angelus
Dear brothers and sisters,
in recent days, the Secretary General of the United Nations has launched an appeal for a "global and immediate ceasefire in all corners of the world", recalling the current emergency for COVID-19, which knows no borders. A call for total ceasefire.
I join all those who have accepted this appeal and invite everyone to follow you up by stopping all forms of war hostility, promoting the creation of corridors for humanitarian aid, openness to diplomacy, attention to those in a greater situation. vulnerability.
The joint commitment against the pandemic can lead everyone to recognize our need to strengthen fraternal bonds as members of a single family. In particular, arouse a renewed commitment to overcoming rivalries among the leaders of nations and other stakeholders. Conflicts are not resolved through war! It is necessary to overcome antagonisms and contrasts, through dialogue and a constructive search for peace.
At this moment my thoughts go in a special way to all the people who suffer from the vulnerability of being forced to live in a group: retirement homes, barracks ... In particular, I would like to mention people in prisons. I read an official memo from the Human Rights Commission that talks about the problem of overcrowded prisons, which could become a tragedy. I ask the authorities to be sensitive to this serious problem and to take the necessary measures to avoid future tragedies.
I wish you all a good Sunday. Please don't forget to pray for me; I do it for you. Have a good lunch and goodbye.