At midday today, Pope Francis made his customary appearance at the window of the study in the Apostolic Palace to pray the Angelus with faithful and pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square.
Here is a translation of the Pope’s words:
Brothers and Sisters,
In this Sunday’s Gospel we find Jesus’ invitation: “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Mt 11:28). He has before him the people he meets every day on the streets of Galilee, many simple people, the poor, the sick, sinners, the marginalized … These people always run after him to listen to his word – a word that gives hope! – and also just to touch the hem of his garment. Jesus himself looked for these harassed and helpless crowds, who were like sheep without a shepherd (cf. Mt 9:35-36), to proclaim the Kingdom of God and to heal many in body and in spirit. Now he calls them all to himself: “Come unto me,” and promises them relief and solace.
This invitation of Jesus extends to the present day, reaching many brothers and sisters weighed down by poor living conditions, difficult life situations and, sometimes, with no valid points of reference. In the poorest countries, but also in the suburbs of the richest countries, there are many people harassed and helpless under the unbearable weight of abandonment and indifference. On the margins of society there are many men and women tested by poverty, but also a life of dissatisfaction and frustration. Many are forced to emigrate from their homeland, risking their own lives. Many more, every day, carry the weight of an economic system that exploits man, imposes an unbearable “yoke”, and that the privileged few don’t want to lead. To each of these sons of the Father who is in heaven, Jesus says, “Come unto me, all of you.”
But he also says this to those who possess everything – but their hearts are empty, empty, their hearts are empty without God. Jesus also says to them, “Come unto me.” The invitation of Jesus is for everyone, but in a special way for these who suffer the most.
Jesus promises to give rest to all, but there is also an invitation, which is like a commandment: “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart” (Mt 11:29). The “yoke” of the Lord consists of the weighty duty of brotherly love. Once the solace and comfort of Christ is received, we are called in turn to become solace and comfort for our brothers, with a meek and humble attitude, in imitation of the Master. This meekness and humility of heart helps us not only to take the weight of the other, but also to not impose upon them our own personal views, our judgments and our criticism.
We invoke the Blessed Virgin Mary, under her mantle that welcomes all harassed and helpless people, so that through an enlightened faith, witnessed in life, we can be of relief to those who need help, tenderness and hope.
After the Angelus:
Dear brothers and sisters, I greet you all cordially, Romans and pilgrims!
I greet the faithful of the parish of Salzano, in the diocese of Treviso, where Don Giuseppe Sarto, who later would become Pope Pius X and proclaimed a saint, was parish priest, and which marks the centenary of his death.
I greet the Little Missionaries of Santa Paula Frassinetti, the faithful of Melìa and Sambatello (Reggio Calabria), the nursery school of the Parish of Verdellino, the group “Brenna 60” and participants in the rally of vintage cars.
Please don’t forget to pray for me, and I will do so for you.
I wish everyone a good Sunday and a good lunch. Goodbye![Original text: Italian] [Translation by ZENIT]