Pope Francis says "Let's think about Christmas, and let's say from the heart: “Come, Lord Jesus, come”. Let us repeat this prayer throughout the day, and the soul will..." FULL TEXT
POPE FRANCIS at the ANGELUS
St. Peter's Square - Sunday, November 28, 2021
Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!
The Gospel of today's Liturgy, the first Sunday of Advent, that is, the first Sunday of preparation for Christmas, speaks to us of the coming of the Lord at the end of time.
Jesus announces desolating events and tribulations, but precisely at this point he invites us not to be afraid. Because? Why will everything be okay? No, but because He will come . Jesus will come back, Jesus will come, he promised. He says thus: "Rise up and raise your head, for your deliverance is near" ( Lk21.28).
It is nice to listen to this Word of encouragement: to lift ourselves up and raise our heads because precisely in the moments when everything seems over, the Lord comes to save us; to await him with joy even in the heart of tribulations, in the crises of life and in the dramas of history. Wait for the Lord. But how can we raise our heads, not to be absorbed by difficulties, sufferings, defeats? Jesus shows us the way with a strong reminder: “Be careful to yourselves, that your hearts do not become heavy […]. Keep awake at all times praying "(vv. 34.36).
"Watch", vigilance. Let us stop on this important aspect of the Christian life. From the words of Christ we see that vigilance is linked to attention: be attentive, be vigilant, do not get distracted, that is, stay awake! To be vigilant means this: not to allow the heart to become lazy and the spiritual life to soften into mediocrity. Be careful because you can be a "Christian asleep" - and we know: there are many Christians asleep, Christians anesthetized by spiritual worldliness - Christians without spiritual enthusiasm, without ardor in praying - they pray like parrots - without enthusiasm for the mission, without passion for the Gospel. Christians who always look inward, unable to look to the horizon. And this leads to "dozing": to pull things forward by inertia, to fall into apathy, indifferent to everything except what suits us. And this is a sad life, to go on like this… there is no happiness there.
We need to be vigilant so as not to drag the days into habit, so as not to be burdened - says Jesus - by the troubles of life (cf. v. 34). The troubles of life weigh us down. Today, therefore, is a good occasion to ask ourselves: what weighs down my heart? What burdens my spirit? What makes me sit in the chair of laziness? It is sad to see Christians "in an armchair"! What are the mediocrities that paralyze me, the vices, what are the vices that crush me to the ground and prevent me from raising my head? And with regard to the burdens on the shoulders of the brothers, am I attentive or indifferent? These questions are good for us, because they help keep the heart from sloth. But, father, tell us: what is sloth? He is a great enemy of the spiritual life, even of the Christian life. Sloth is that laziness that precipitates, slips into sadness, which takes away the pleasure of living and the desire to do. It is a negative spirit, it is an evil spirit that nails the soul in torpor, stealing its joy. It begins with that sadness, it slips, it slips, and no joy. The Book of Proverbs says: "Keep your heart, for life flows from it" ( Pr 4,23). To guard the heart: this means to be vigilant, to be vigilant! Be awake, keep your heart.
And let's add an essential ingredient: the secret to being vigilant is prayer . In fact, Jesus says: "Keep awake at all times praying" ( Lk21.36). It is prayer that keeps the lamp of the heart burning. Especially when we feel that enthusiasm cools, prayer rekindles it, because it brings us back to God, to the center of things. Prayer awakens the soul from sleep and focuses it on what matters, on the purpose of existence. Even on the busiest days, we do not neglect prayer. Now I was seeing, in the program “In his image”, a beautiful reflection on prayer: it will help us, looking at it will do us good. Prayer of the heart can help us, often repeating short invocations. In Advent, get used to saying, for example: "Come, Lord Jesus". Only this, but to say it: “Come, Lord Jesus”. This time of preparation for Christmas is beautiful: let's think about the crib, let's think about Christmas, and let's say from the heart: “Come, Lord Jesus, come”. Let us repeat this prayer throughout the day, and the soul will remain alert! “Come, Lord Jesus”: it is a prayer that we can say three times, all together. “Come, Lord Jesus”, “Come, Lord Jesus”, “Come, Lord Jesus”.
And now let us pray to Our Lady: may she, who awaited the Lord with a vigilant heart, accompany us on the journey of Advent.
After the Angelus
Dear brothers and sisters ,
Yesterday I met the members of associations and groups of migrants and of people who, in a spirit of fraternity, share their journey. I'm here in the square, with that big flag! Welcome! But how many migrants - we think this - how many migrants are exposed, even in these days, to very serious dangers, and how many are losing their lives at our borders! I feel pain for the news about the situation in which so many of them find themselves: of those who died in the English Channel; of those on the borders of Belarus, many of whom are children; of those who drown in the Mediterranean. So much pain thinking about them. Of those who are repatriated to North Africa, they are captured by traffickers, who turn them into slaves: they sell women, torture men ... Of those who, even this week, they tried to cross the Mediterranean looking for a land of well-being and instead finding a tomb there; and many others. To migrants who find themselves in these situations of crisis, I assure you of my prayers, and also of my heart: know that I am always close to you. Pray and do. I thank all the institutions of both the Catholic Church and elsewhere, especially the national Caritas and all those who are committed to alleviating their suffering. I renew the heartfelt appeal to those who can contribute to the resolution of these problems, in particular to the civil and military Authorities, so that understanding and dialogue finally prevail over any kind of exploitation and direct the will and efforts towards solutions that respect the humanity of these people. We think of migrants, of their suffering,
I greet all of you, pilgrims who have come from Italy and from different countries: there are so many flags from different countries. I greet the families, the parish groups, the associations. In particular, I greet the faithful from East Timor - I see the flag there - from Poland and Lisbon; as well as those of Tivoli.
I wish you all a good Sunday and a good Advent journey, a good journey towards Christmas, towards the Lord. Please don't forget to pray for me. Have a good lunch and goodbye!
FULL TEXT Source: Vatican.va - Image Screenshot - Translation from Italian