Source: Vatican Media
Pope Francis reflected on Sunday's Gospel during Angelus yesterday with pilgrims in St Peter's Square. He also spoke about 70th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions which is being marked today.
In this Sunday's Gospel, Jesus tells His disciples to "gird your loins and light your lamps". Pope Francis described this image as one that "recalls the attitude of the pilgrim, ready to set out on a journey". "It is a question of not putting down roots in comfortable and reassuring dwellings", he said, "but of abandoning oneself with simplicity and trust to the will of God, who guides us towards the next goal."
By reminding us to "light our lamps", Jesus invites us "to live an authentic and mature faith, capable of illuminating the many 'nights' of life", continued the Pope. "The lamp of faith needs to be nourished continuously, with a heart to heart encounter with Jesus in prayer, and in listening to His Word". "True faith opens the heart to one's neighbour," he said, "and spurs us on to concrete communion with our brothers and sisters, especially with those in need."
In Luke's Gospel, Jesus describes the servants awaiting the return of their master as an example of remaining vigilant. We need to be ready "for the final and definitive encounter with the Lord", added Pope Francis. "Blessed are those servants whom the master finds vigilant on his arrival". With these words, "the Lord reminds us that life is a journey towards eternity", said the Pope. "Every moment becomes precious, so we must live and act on this earth having a longing for Heaven in our hearts."
"If we live in harmony with the Gospel and God's commandments, He will allow us to share in His eternal happiness". Although "we cannot really understand what this supreme joy will be like", said the Pope, Jesus offers us an image of the master who, finding his servants still awake on his return, "will have them recline at table, and proceed to wait on them". It is as though everything in Heaven will be reversed, said the Pope: "It will no longer be the servants, namely, us, who will serve God, but God will put Himself at our service."
May the thought of the final encounter with the Father "fill us with hope", concluded Pope Francis. May it stimulate us to a constant commitment to becoming holy, "and to building a more just and fraternal world".
After praying the Angelus Pope Francis reminded the faithful that the next day (Monday) marks the 70th anniversary of the Geneva Convention.
Recalling this historic event, Pope Francis asked that the anniversary "make States increasingly aware of the essential need to protect the life and dignity of the victims of armed conflicts."
The Pope then urged everyone to respect the rules and regulations imposed by international humanitarian law.
Pope Francis called on States to protect "defenceless populations and civil structures, especially hospitals, schools, places of worship and refugee camps."
Finally, the Pope concluded by urging the faithful gathered not to "forget that war and terrorism are always a serious loss for the whole of humanity."
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