© Vatican Media

Angelus Address: On Faith (Full Text)

‘Nothing Is Impossible for One Who Has Faith Because He Doesn’t Count on His Own Strength but on God, Who Can Do Everything’

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry

Here is a ZENIT translation of the address Pope Francis gave today, before and after praying the midday Angelus with those gathered in St. Peter’s Square.

* * *

Before the Angelus:

 Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!

Today’s evangelical page (Cf. Luke 17:5-10) presents the subject of faith, introduced by the disciples’ plea: “Increase our faith!” (v. 6). A beautiful prayer, which we should pray a lot during the day: “Lord, increase faith in me!” Jesus responds with two images: the mustard seed and the available servant. “If you had faith as a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this sycamore tree, ‘Be uprooted, and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you” (v. 6). The sycamore is a robust tree, well-rooted in the earth and resistant to the winds. Therefore, Jesus wants to make it understood that the faith, even if little, can have the strength of uprooting even a sycamore; and then of transplanting it in the sea, which is something even more improbable: however, nothing is impossible for one who has faith, because he doesn’t count on his own strength but on God, who can do everything.

Faith, which is like a mustard seed, is a faith that isn’t superb and self-confident, doesn’t feign to be that of a great believer doing foolish things at times!  It’s a faith that in its humility feels a great need of God and in littleness abandons itself to Him with full trust. It’s the faith that gives us the capacity to look with hope on the ups and downs of life, which helps us to accept even defeats and sufferings, in the awareness that evil never has the last word.

How can we know if we really have faith, that is, if our faith, though minuscule, is genuine, pure, frank? Jesus explains it by pointing out what the measure of faith is: service. And He does so with a parable that in the first instance seems somewhat disconcerting because He presents the figure of an arrogant and indifferent master. However, this way of behaving of the master highlights the true heart of the parable, namely, the servant’s attitude of availability. Jesus wants to say that the man of faith behaves so in his relations with God: he gives himself completely to His will, without calculations or pretentions.

This attitude towards God is also reflected in the way of behaving in community: it’s reflected in the joy of being at the service of one another, finding already in this one’s recompense and not in the rewards and earnings that can derive from it. It’s what Jesus teaches at the end of this account: “When you have done all that is commanded of you, say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty’” (v. 10) — unworthy servants, namely, without pretensions to be thanked, without claims. “We are unworthy servants,” is an expression of humility and willingness that does so much good to the Church and calls for the right attitude to work in her: humble service, of which Jesus has given us the example, washing the disciples’ feet (Cf. John 13:3-17).

May the Virgin Mary, Woman of faith, help us to go on this path. We turn to Her on the eve of the feast of our Lady of the Rosary, in communion with the faithful gathered at Pompeii for the traditional Prayer.

© Libreria Editrice Vatican

[Original text: Italian]  [ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]


After the Angelus:

 Dear Brothers and Sisters!

The Eucharistic Celebration concluded a short while ago in St. Peter’s Basilica, with which we opened the Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazonian Region. The Synodal Fathers, gathered around the Successor of Peter, will reflect for three weeks on the Church’s mission in Amazonia, on evangelization and on the promotion of an integral ecology. I ask you to accompany this important ecclesial event with prayer so that it is lived in fraternal communion and in docility to the Holy Spirit, who always shows ways for witnessing the Gospel.

I thank all of you pilgrims, who have come so numerous from Italy and from many parts of the world. I greet the faithful of Heidelberg, Germany, and of Rozlazino, Poland; the students of Dilligen, again Germany, and those of the Saint Alphonsus Institute of Bella Vista, Argentina.

I greet the group of Fara Vicentino and Zugliano, the families of the Alta Val Tidone, the pilgrims of Castelli Romani, who marched for peace, and those of Camisano Vicentino, who have come along the Via Francigena for a solidarity initiative.

I wish you all a happy Sunday. And, please, don’t forget to pray for me. Enjoy your lunch and goodbye!

© Libreria Editrice Vatican[Original text: Italian]  [ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry

Virginia Forrester

Support ZENIT

If you liked this article, support ZENIT now with a donation