Pope Francis today commented on one of the most frightening – and reassuring – Gospel passages, the day’s reading from the 21st chapter of Luke.
The Holy Father’s remarks on Jesus’ discourse on the end times came before he prayed the noonday Angelus with the faithful gather in St. Peter’s Square. The crowd of pilgrims from around the world might have felt it was an appropriate reading as they took shelter under umbrellas as rain soaked the square.
“He uses two images that are seemingly opposed: the first is a series of frightening events: disasters, wars, famines, riots and persecutions (vv. 9-12); the other is reassuring: “Not a hair of your head will perish” (v. 18),” the Pope said of Jesus’ discourse.
“At first, there is a realistic look on history, marked by calamities and also violence, traumas that wound creation, our common home, and also the human family that inhabits it, and the Christian community itself. We think of the many wars of today, of the many calamities of today. The second image — enclosed in Jesus’ reassurance — tells us the attitude a Christian must assume in living this history, characterized by violence and adversity.”
Thus, the Pope stressed, the attitude of a Christian “is the attitude of hope in God, which enables one not to be beaten down by the tragic events…The Lord calls us to collaborate in the construction of history becoming, together with Him, agents of peace and witnesses of hope in a future of salvation and resurrection.
“Faith makes us walk with Jesus on the torturous ways of this world, in the certainty that the force of His Spirit will subdue the forces of evil, subjecting them to the power of God’s love. Love is superior, love is more powerful because it is God: God is love.”