Pope Francis has called on the faithful to imitate Christ’s meekness and humility, especially when helping the poor and the marginalized.
To be meek and humble of heart, he told pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square on Sunday, “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.”
Addressing the crowd under hot, sunny Rome skies before reciting the Angelus prayer, the Holy Father focused on the words of today’s Gospel from the book of Matthew, in which Jesus says: “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest”.
The poor and the marginalized always ran after Jesus to listen to “his word that gives hope”, the Pope said, and, in turn, Jesus sought out such people, calling them to himself and promising them relief and solace.
But the Pope stressed that Jesus’ invitation extends to many brothers and sisters today, “weighed down by poor living conditions, difficult life situations and, sometimes, with no valid points of reference. “
Such people, in poor and rich countries, are “harassed and helpless under the unbearable weight of abandonment and indifference,” he continued. They are “tested by poverty” and a life of “dissatisfaction and frustration”, forcing many of them to emigrate at risk of 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,” he added. “To each of these sons of the Father who is in heaven, Jesus says, “Come unto me, all of you.”
Speaking off the cuff, the Pope underlined that Jesus includes everyone in this invitation, also those “who possess everything” but whose hearts are “empty, without God.” The invitation to come to Jesus is “for everyone,” the Pope said, “but in a special way for these who suffer the most.”
He then drew attention to a second invitation of Jesus which, he said, “is like a commandment: ‘Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart’”.
“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,” the Pope explained. “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.”
The Holy Father closed by invoking the Blessed Virgin Mary, under whose mantle she 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 prayer, the Pope had words of greeting for a select group of pilgrims, including parishioners from the parish of Salzano where Don Giuseppe Sarto – later Pope St. Pius X – was parish priest. This year the Church commemorates the centenary of his death.