15,000 people gathered in St. Peter's Square at noon on Sunday, June 9, to join the Pope

15,000 people gathered in St. Peter's Square at noon on Sunday, June 9, to join the Pope Photo: Vatican Media

Pope Francis’ brief reflection (in 3 points) on Jesus’ freedom

Allocution on the occasion of the recitation of the Angelus on Sunday, June 9, 2024

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(ZENIT News / Vatican City, 06.09.2024).- Around 15,000 people gathered in St. Peter’s Square at noon on Sunday, June 9, to join the Pope in praying the Marian prayer of the Angelus. As usual, before the Angelus, the Pope delivered an address on the Sunday’s Gospel. We offer the English translation of the Pope’s reflection below:


Un gruppo di scout presenti all'Angelus

The Gospel of today’s liturgy (cf. Mk 3:20-35) tells us that Jesus, after beginning His public ministry, faced a twofold reaction: that of his relatives, who were worried and feared He had gone a little mad, and that of the religious authorities, who accused Him of acting under the influence of an evil spirit. In reality, Jesus preached and healed the sick by the power of the Holy Spirit. And it was precisely the Spirit that made him divinely free, that is, capable of loving and serving without measure or conditioning. Jesus, free. Let us pause a while to contemplate this freedom of Jesus.

Jesus was free in relation to wealth: therefore He left the security of His village, Nazareth, to embrace a poor life full of uncertainties (cf. Mt 6:25-34), freely taking care of the sick and whoever came to ask Him for help, without ever asking for anything in exchange (cf. Mt 10:8). The gratuitousness of Jesus’ ministry is this. And it is also the gratuitousness of every ministry.

He was free with regard to power: indeed, despite calling many to follow Him, He never obliged anyone to do so, nor did He ever seek out the support of the powerful, but always took the side of the last, teaching His disciples to do likewise, as He had done (cf. Lk 22:25-27).

Fedeli e pellegrini in piazza San Pietro per l'Angelus

Finally, Jesus was free of the quest for fame and approval, and for this reason He never gave up speaking the truth, even at the cost of not being understood (cf. Mk 3:21), of becoming unpopular, even to the point of dying on the cross, not allowing Himself to be intimidated, nor bought, nor corrupted by anything or anyone (cf. Mt 10:28).

Jesus was a free man. He was free in the face of wealth, free in the face of power, free in the face of the quest for fame. And this is important for us too. Indeed, if we let ourselves be conditioned by the quest for pleasure, power, money or consensus, we become slaves to these things. If instead we allow God’s freely-given love to fill us and expand our heart, and if we let it overflow spontaneously, by giving it back to others, with our whole selves, without fear, calculation or conditioning, then we grow in freedom, and spread its good fragrance around us too.

So we can ask ourselves: am I a free person? Or do I let myself be imprisoned by the myths of money, power and success, sacrificing my serenity and peace, and that of others, to these things? In the places where I live and work, do I spread the fresh air of freedom, sincerity and spontaneity?

May the Virgin Mary help us live and love like Jesus taught us, in the freedom of the children of God (cf. Rom 8:15,20-23).

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