· ​At the Angelus Pope Francis prays for the victims of the attacks in Dhaka and Baghdad, and that the hearts of the violent may be converted ·

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

Today’s Gospel passage, taken from the tenth chapter of Luke’s Gospel (vv. 1-12.17-20), helps us to understand what is necessary to invoke God, “the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest” (v. 2). The “workers” of which Jesus speaks are the missionaries of the Kingdom of God, that He himself called and sent “two by two ahead of him to every town and place he intended to visit (v. 1). Their task is to proclaim a message of salvation intended for all. The missionaries always preach a message of salvation to all; not only the missionaries who go away, even us, Christian missionaries who say a good word for salvation. And this is the gift that Jesus gives us the Holy Spirit. This announcement is to say: “And ‘close to you the kingdom of God” (v. 9), because Jesus has “approached” God to us; God became one of us; in Jesus, God reigns in our midst, his merciful love overcomes sin and human misery.

And this is the Good News that the “workers” should bring to everyone a message of hope and consolation, peace and charity. 7aefc3e4216ce124ca0c6a9ed2cb8079_19When Jesus sends his disciples ahead of him in the villages, he recommended to them, ‘Before you say,’ Peace to this house! “. […] Heal the sick that are therein “(vv. 5.9). All this means that the Kingdom of God is built day by day and already offers on this earth its fruits of conversion, purification, love and consolation among men. It’s a nice thing! To build day by day this Kingdom of God for it is growing. Not destroy, build!

The spirit in which the disciple of Jesus will carry out this mission? First of all it must be aware of the difficult and sometimes hostile reality that awaits him. Jesus does not spare words on that! Jesus says: “I am sending you like lambs among wolves” (v. 3). Clear. Hostility is always at the beginning of the persecution of Christians; because Jesus knows that the mission is hampered by the work of the evil one. For this, the worker of the Gospel will strive to be free from human influences of every kind, not carrying purse, nor scrip, nor shoes (cf. v. 4), as recommended by Jesus, to rely solely on the power of the Cross Christ. This means giving up all personal reason to boast, of careerism or hunger for power, and be humble instruments of salvation by the sacrifice of Jesus.

That of the Christian in the world is a wonderful mission, is a mission for all, is a mission of service, without exception; it requires so much generosity and especially his eyes and heart turned on high, to invoke the Lord’s help. There is so much need Christians who testify with joy the Gospel in everyday life. The disciples, sent by Jesus, “returned with joy” (v. 17). When we do this, your heart fills with joy. And this expression makes me think about how much the Church rejoices, rejoices when her children receive the Good News by the dedication of so many men and women who daily proclaim the Gospel: priests – those good pastors that we all know -, nuns, consecrated, missionary, missionary … And I wonder – heard the question – how many of you young people who now are present in the square today, feel the Lord’s call to follow him? Do not be afraid! Be brave and bring to others this torch of apostolic zeal that has been left by these exemplary disciples.

We pray to the Lord, through the intercession of the Virgin Mary that she will never be lacking to the Church generous hearts, that they work to bring to all the love and tenderness of the Heavenly Father.

After the Angelus:

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I express my closeness to the families of those killed and injured the attack occurred yesterday in Dhaka, and also of what happened in Baghdad. Let us pray together. Let us pray together for them, for the dead and ask the Lord to convert the heart of violent blinded by hate. Ave Maria …

I greet all of you, the faithful of Rome and pilgrims came from Italy and from different countries. In particular, the group led by the Bishop of Bergamo – Atalanta have not saved for the sign! You can tell! -; to Bragança-Miranda (Portugal); the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart came from Korea with some of the faithful; Ibiza’s youth who are preparing for Confirmation; and the group of Venezuelans pilgrims. I would also like to greet my fellow countrymen of La Rioja, Chilecito: one can see the flag there!

Greeting some special pilgrimages, in the name of mercy: that of the faithful of Ascoli Piceno, come walk along the ancient Via Salaria; one of the members of the Italian Federation of Equestrian Tourism, came on horseback , some even from Krakow; and the bicycle and motorcycle from Cardito (Naples).

Lastly, I greet the Association “crumbs of hope Carla Zichetti” the Lay Camillian Family, the Kindergarten of Verdellino, and the boys of Albino and Desenzano, and those of Sassari.

In the Holy Year of Mercy I am happy to recall that on Wednesday we will celebrate the memory of St. Maria Goretti, the martyr girl before dying forgave her murderer. This brave girl deserves applause of the entire square!

And I wish you all a good Sunday. Please do not forget to pray for me. Good lunch and goodbye!

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