"Today we need peace in this war that has spread all over the world. We must pray for peace", reflected Pope Francis announcing that September 20, he will travel to Assisi "for the meeting of prayers for peace, 30 years after the historic one convened by St. John Paul II".
Greeting pilgrims gathered in St Peter's Square to pray the Angelus,
after the Marian prayer and announcing the meeting in Assisi, the Pope
said: "I invite parishes, church associations and individual believers
from around the world take part in that day as a day of prayer for
peace. Today we need peace in this war that has spread all over the
world. We need to pray for peace. Following the example of St. Francis,
of brotherhood and meekness, we are all called to offer to the world a
strong testimony of our common commitment to peace and reconciliation
among peoples. Tuesday we should all unite in prayer; each person
choosing a particular time. "
The Assisi meeting will be attended by some 400 religious leaders
from around the world, but not the Dalai Lama, present 30 years ago, but
who according to his secretary’s response to AsiaNews, has not received "any invitation".
Earlier, the Pope paused to comment on today's Gospel (Luke 16:
1-13), which presents "the parable of the unfaithful and corrupt, who is
praised by Jesus despite his dishonesty". Jesus explained the pontiff,
praises his craftiness used for "currying the favor of debtors,
condoning their part of the debt to secure the future”.
He continued, “we are called to respond to this worldly cunning with
Christian cunning, which is a gift of the Holy Spirit. This means
leaving aside the spirit and values of the world, which please the
devil greatly, to live according to the Gospel. Worldliness is
manifested by attitudes of corruption, deception, abuse of power, and is
the most wrong road, the road of sin, even if it is more convenient to
take. Instead the spirit of the Gospel requires a serious - but joyful -
and challenging lifestyle, marked by honesty, fairness, respect for
others and their dignity, the sense of duty. This is Christian cunning!
The path of life necessarily involves a choice between two roads:
between honesty and dishonesty, between fidelity and infidelity, between
selfishness and selflessness, between good and evil. You can not
oscillate between one and the other, because they move according to a
different and conflicting logic".
Recalling the Gospel phrase that "no servant can serve two masters",
Francis concluded: "Jesus now urges us to make a clear choice between
Him and the spirit of the world, including the logic of corruption,
abuse of power and greed and that of righteousness, meekness and
sharing. Some treat corruption like a drug: They think they can use
it and stop when they want. They begin gradually: a tip here, a tip
there and gradually this generates corruption. Instead, even corruption
produces addiction, and generates poverty, exploitation, suffering ...
In gratitude and in the gift of ourselves to our brothers, we serve the
right master, God. "
After the Marian prayer, the Pope recalled that yesterday in
Codrongianos (Sassari) Elisabetta Sanna, mother of a family with seven
children was beatified. A widow, she devoted herself entirely to prayer
and to the service of the sick and the poor. "Her testimony - said
Francis - is a model of evangelical charity animated by faith".
The pontiff then addressed a greeting to the participants in the
National Eucharistic Congress which ended today in Genoa. "I address a
special greeting - the Pope said - to all the faithful gathered there,
and I hope that this event of grace revive the Italian people's faith in
the Most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist, in which we worship Christ,
the source of life and hope for all man".