Pope Francis says Cling to Jesus in Trials "to find calm and peace, in prayer, silence" and Calls for Peace Negotiations - FULL TEXT

St Peter's Square - Sunday, 23 June 2024
At 12 noon today, the Holy Father Francis appeared at the window of the study in the Vatican Apostolic Palace to recite the Angelus with the approximately 20,000 faithful and the pilgrims present in St. Peter’s Square.
Dear brothers and sisters, happy Sunday!

Today the Gospel presents us with Jesus on the boat with the disciples, on Lake Tiberias. A strong storm arrives unexpectedly, and the boat is in danger of sinking. Jesus, who was asleep, wakes up, threatens the wind and everything becomes calm again (cf. Mk 4:35-41).

But really, He doesn’t wake up, they awaken Him! With great fear, it is the disciples who awaken Jesus. The evening before, it was Jesus Himself who told the disciples to get on the boat and cross the lake. They were experts, they were fishermen, and that was their living environment, but a storm could put them in difficulty. It seems that Jesus wants to put them to the test. However, He does not leave them alone; He stays with them on the boat, calm; indeed, He even sleeps. And when the storm breaks, He reassures them with His presence, He encourages them, He incites them to have more faith and accompanies them beyond the danger. But we can ask this question: why does Jesus act in this way?

To strengthen the faith of the disciples and to make them more courageous.

Indeed, they – the disciples – come out of this experience more aware of the power of Jesus and His presence in their midst, and therefore stronger and readier to face obstacles, difficulties, including the fear of venturing out to proclaim the Gospel. Having overcome this trial with Him, they will know how to face many others, even to the cross and martyrdom, to bring the Gospel to all peoples.

And Jesus does likewise with us too, in particular in the Eucharist: He gathers us around Him, He gives us His Word, He nourishes with His Body and His Blood, and then He invites us to set sail, to transmit everything we have heard and to share what we have received with everyone, in everyday life, even when it is difficult. Jesus does not spare us contrarieties but, without ever abandoning us, He helps us confront them. He makes us courageous. So we too, overcoming them with His help, learn more and more to hold onto Him, to trust in His power, which goes far beyond our capacities, to overcome uncertainties and hesitations, closures and preconceptions, and He does this with courage and greatness of heart, to tell everyone that the Kingdom of Heaven is present, it is here, and that with Jesus at our side we can make it grow together, beyond all barriers.

Let us ask ourselves, then: in times of trial, can I remember the times when I have experienced, in my life, the presence and help of the Lord? Let us think about it… When a storm arrives, do I let myself be overwhelmed by the turmoil or do I cling to Him – these inner storms, no? – do I cling to Him to find calm and peace, in prayer, silence, listening to the Word, adoration and fraternal sharing of faith?

May the Virgin Mary, who welcomed God’s will with humility and courage, give us, in difficult moments, the serenity of abandonment in Him.

After the Angelus

Dear brothers and sisters,

I greet you all, Romans and pilgrims from Italy and various countries.

In particular, I greet the faithful of Sant Boi de Llobregat, Barcelona, and those of Bari. I greet the participants in the “Choose life” demonstration, the “Edelweiss” Choir of the Alpine Section of Bassano del Grappa, and the cyclists from Bollate, who have come by bicycle.

Let us continue to pray for peace, especially in Ukraine, Palestine, and Israel. I can see the flag of Israel… Today I saw it on the balcony of your house when I was coming from the Church of the Santi Quaranta Martiri – it is a call for peace! Let us pray for peace! Palestine, Gaza, the North of the Congo… let us pray for peace! And peace in tormented Ukraine, which suffers greatly, let there be peace! May the Holy Spirit enlighten the minds of governors, inspire wisdom and a sense of responsibility in them, to avoid any action or word that may fuel confrontation, and instead strive resolutely for a peaceful resolution of conflicts. It takes negotiation.

The day before yesterday, Father Manuel Blanco, a Franciscan who had lived in the Church of Santi Quaranta Martiri e San Pasquale Baylon in Rome for forty-four years, passed away. He was a superior, a confessor, a man of counsel. In remembering him, I would like to remember so many Franciscan brothers, confessors, preachers, who honoured and honour the Church of Rome. Thanks to all of them!

And I wish you all a good Sunday. Please do not forget to pray for me. Enjoy your meal and arrivederci!
Source Vatican.va with Image