During his Sunday Angelus address, Pope Francis echoed Christ’s words of hope in the face of disorder and disasters that face the world today.
Reflecting on Sunday’s Gospel, which spoke of one of Jesus’ sermons on the end times, the Holy Father stated two major aspects of Christ’s words that pertain to real issues.
“First, do not let yourself be deceived by false messiahs and not let yourself be paralyzed by fear. Second, live the period of waiting as time of witness and perseverance. And we are in this of waiting, of waiting for the Lord’s coming,” the Pope said. Jesus’ sermon, he continued, is relevant even in today’s modern world.
“Today too, in fact, there are false “saviors,” who try to take Jesus’ place: leaders of this world, gurus, even sorcerers, people who want to attract the minds and hearts, especially of young people, to themselves. Jesus warns us: “Do not follow them!” “Do not follow them!”” he stressed.
The Holy Father went on to say that through His words, Jesus encourages us in the face of trials such as wars, revolutions, natural disasters and epidemics, while confirming that “Jesus frees us from fatalism and false apocalyptic visions.”
Regarding the second aspect of Jesus’ sermon, Pope Francis said that while foretelling the trials and persecutions his disciples must endure, Jesus assures God’s presence in those moments.
“The adversity that we face because of our faith and our adherence to the Gospel are occasions for witness; they need not distance us from the Lord but move us to abandon ourselves all the more to him, to the power of his Spirit and his grace,” the Pope said.
The Holy Father called all to reflect on those fellow Christians who suffer persecution for their faith, saying that there are perhaps many more persecuted now than in the first centuries.
“We too are united to them by our prayer and our affection. We also admire their courage and their testimony. They are our brothers and sisters, who in many parts of the world suffer because of being faithful to Jesus Christ. We salute them from our hearts and with affection,” he told the pilgrims gathered.
Prior to the recitation of the Angelus, Pope Francis encouraged the faithful to trust the Lord who “brings everything to fulfillment throughout history.” God’s plan of goodness and mercy will prevail over the chaos that exists in today’s world.
“This message of Jesus makes us reflect on our present moment and gives us the strength to face it with courage and hope, in the company of Our Lady, who always walks with us,” he said.
Following the recitation of the Angelus, the Holy Father greeted various pilgrims from around the world. He went on to “prescribe a medicine” to the faithful.
“But someone might think: “The Pope is a pharmacist now?” It is a special medicine that will make the fruits of the Year of Faith concrete. This year is drawing to its close. It is a medicine of 59 pills for the heart.”
This “medicine” came in the form of the Misericordina, a small box containing a rosary along with the chaplet of Divine Mercy. The Holy Father told the faithful that it was “a spiritual help for our soul and to spread love, forgiveness and fraternity everywhere.” Boxes were distributed to the faithful.