Sometimes we go through life tired and overwhelmed, Pope Francis admits, but perhaps our exhaustion comes from putting too much trust in expendable things, and distancing ourselves from what really matters.
The Pope suggested this today at the general audience, as he reflected on the passage from Matthew’s Gospel, which contains Jesus’ promise:“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. […] Learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
After a consideration of these promises — offered as imperatives: come, take up, learn — and of the poor and weak who rely on God’s mercy alone, the Pope turned his thoughts to the pilgrims in the Square.
“Dear brothers and sisters, for us too there are moments of tiredness and disappointment,” he said, inviting us in those moments to “remember these words of the Lord, which give us so much consolation.”
Warning that sometimes “our exhaustion is caused by having put our trust in things that are not essential, because we have distanced ourselves from what is really valuable in life,” he said that God “teaches us not to be afraid to follow Him, because the hope we place in Him will not be disappointed.”
We are called to learn to receive his mercy, Francis continued, and to be instruments of mercy for others.
“When we feel ourselves in need of forgiveness, of consolation, let us learn to be merciful with others,” he said.
Joy and courage
Pope Francis said that in keeping our gaze on Christ, we see “what a long way we still have to go.”
But, he said, “at the same time, He infuses in us the joy of knowing that we are walking with Him and we are never alone – courage, therefore, courage!”
Don’t let the joy of being Christ’s disciples be robbed from you, he said. And in your sinfulness, “Let the Lord look at you. Open your heart, feel His look upon you, His mercy, and your heart will be filled with joy, with the joy of forgiveness, if you come close and ask for forgiveness.”
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