An unofficial organization dedicated to the Catholic Church's Mission in Somalia.
Wednesday, 18 February 2015
Lenten Message 2015 - Pope Francis
Lent is a time of renewal for the
whole Church, for each communities and every believer. Above all it is a
"time of grace” (2 Cor 6:2). God does not ask of us anything that he
himself has not first given us. "We love because he first has loved us” (1
Jn 4:19). He is not aloof from us. Each one of us has a place in his heart. He
knows us by name, he cares for us and he seeks us out whenever we turn away
from him. He is interested in each of us; his love does not allow him to be
indifferent to what happens to us.
we are healthy and comfortable, we forget about others (something God the
Father never does): we are unconcerned with their problems, their sufferings
and the injustices they endure … Our heart grows cold. As long as I am
relatively healthy and comfortable, I don’t think about those less well off.
Today, this selfish attitude of indifference has taken on global proportions,
to the extent that we can speak of a globalization of indifference. It is a
problem which we, as Christians, need to confront.
When the people
of God are converted to his love, they find answers to the questions that
history continually raises. One of the most urgent challenges which I would
like to address in this Message is precisely the globalization of indifference. Indifference to our neighbour and to
God also represents a real temptation for us Christians.
during Lent we need to hear once more the voice of the prophets who cry out and
trouble our conscience. God is not indifferent to our world; he so loves it
that he gave his Son for our salvation. In the Incarnation, in the earthly
life, death, and resurrection of the Son of God, the gate between God and man,
between heaven and earth, opens once for all.
The Church is
like the hand holding open this gate, thanks to her proclamation of God’s word,
her celebration of the sacraments and her witness of the faith which works
through love (cf. Gal5:6). But the world tends to withdraw into itself and shut
that door through which God comes into the world and the world comes to him.
Hence the hand, which is the Church, must never be surprised if it is rejected,
crushed and wounded. God’s people, then, need this interior renewal, lest we
become indifferent and withdraw into ourselves. To further this renewal, I
would like to propose for our reflection three biblical texts.
1. "If one member suffers, all suffer
together” (1 Cor 12:26)
2. "Where is your brother?” (Gen 4:9)
3. "Make your hearts firm!” (James 5:8)
As a way of
overcoming indifference and our pretensions to self-sufficiency, I would invite
everyone to live this Lent as an opportunity for engaging in what Benedict XVI
called a formation of the heart (cf. Deus Caritas Est, 31). A merciful
heart does not mean a weak heart. Anyone who wishes to be merciful must have a
strong and steadfast heart, closed to the tempter but open to God.