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!
The second reading of today’s liturgy presents to us the exhortation of St. Paul to Timothy, his disciple, which reflects on his existence as an Apostle totally consecrated to the mission (cf. 2 Tm 4,6-8.16-18). Seeing by that point that he was nearing the end of his earthly journey, Paul describes it in reference to three [seasons]: the present, the past, the future.
The ‘present’, Paul interprets with the metaphor of sacrifice: “I am already being poured out like a libation” (v. 6). As for the ‘past,’ Paul points to his past life with images of the “good fight” and “race” of a man that was consistent with his commitments and responsibilities (cf. v. 7); consequently, for the ‘future’, he trusts in recognition from God, who is the “just judge” (v. 8). But Paul’s mission was effective, just and true, only thanks to the closeness and strength of the Lord, which made him a preacher of the Gospel to all peoples. Here is his expression: “But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength, so that through me the proclamation might be completed and all the Gentiles might hear it” (v. 17).
In this autobiographical account of St. Paul, the Church, especially today–being World Mission Sunday, with the theme “Missionary Church, a witness of mercy”–is reflected. In Paul, the Christian community finds its model in the belief that it is the presence of the Lord that makes effective apostolic work and the work of evangelization. The experience of the Apostle of the Gentiles reminds us that we must engage in pastoral and missionary activities, on the one hand, as if the result depended on our efforts, with the spirit of sacrifice of an athlete who does not stop, even in the face of defeats; on the other, however, knowing that the true success of our mission is a gift of grace: it is the Holy Spirit who makes the Church’s mission in the world effective.
Today is a time of mission and a time of courage! Courage to strengthen the tottering steps, to commit ourselves to the Gospel, to regain confidence in the strength that mission brings. It is a time of courage, although courage does not mean having no guarantee of success. What is required of us is courage to fight, not necessarily to win; to announce, not necessarily to convert. We are required to have the courage to be willing to not always conform in the world, but without ever becoming argumentative or aggressive. Required of us also is the courage to be open to all, to never belittle the absoluteness and uniqueness of Christ, the one Savior of all. We are required to have the courage to stand up to unbelief, without becoming arrogant. We are also required to have the courage of the publican in today’s Gospel, who, with humility, does not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beats his breast, saying: “O God, be merciful to me a sinner.” Today, is time of courage! Today, we must have courage!
May the Virgin Mary, model of the ‘outgoing’ Church, and docile to the Holy Spirit, help us all to be, by virtue of our baptism, missionary disciples who bring the message of salvation to the whole human family.[Original text: Italian] [Translation by Deborah Castellano Lubov]
After the Angelus:
Pope’s Appeal for Iraq:
In these dramatic hours, I am close to the entire the population of Iraq, especially those of the city of Mosul. Our minds are shaken by the heinous acts of violence that for too much time have been being committed against innocent citizens, both Muslims and Christians, and also all those of other ethnicities and religions. I was saddened to hear news of the killing in cold blood of many in that beloved land, including many children. This cruelty makes us cry, leaving us without words. The word of solidarity accompanies the assurance of my remembrance in prayer, to Iraq, while suffering, both strong and steadfast in hope to be able to move towards a future of security, of reconciliation and peace. Therefore, I ask all of you to join in my prayer in silence…
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I greet all of you with affection, pilgrims from Italy and various countries, starting with the Poles, who remember here in Rome and in their homeland, the 1050th anniversary of the presence of Christianity in Poland.
I welcome the participants of the Jubilee of Italian Choirs, the runners from Assisi representing the Italian Pro Loco, and the youth of the confraternities of the dioceses of Italy.
Then there are groups of faithful from many Italian parishes: I cannot greet them one by one, but I encourage them to persevere on their journey of faith. A special thought goes to the Peruvian community of Rome, who gathered here with the sacred image of the Señor de los Milagros.
I thank you all and greet you with affection. Have a nice Sunday! And please, do not forget to pray for me. Good lunch and goodbye![Original Text: Italian] [Translation by Deborah Castellano Lubov]