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Angelus: the importance of feeling God’s paternity in a period of orphanhood, 26.02.2017

At midday the Holy Father appeared at the window of his study to pray the Angelus with the faithful and pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square. He reflected on the day’s Gospel reading, which constitutes a powerful call to trust in God, Who cares for all creation, from the lilies to the grass in the field; His beneficent and solicitous gaze watches daily over our life. It flows under the goad of so many worries, which risk taking away our serenity and balance. “However, this anguish is often pointless, as it does not succeed in changing the course of events”, remarked Francis. “Jesus urges us insistently not to worry about tomorrow, reminding us that beyond all there is a loving Father Who never forgets His children. Entrusting ourselves to Him does not resolve problems magically, but enables us to face them with the right spirit, courageously; I am courageous because I entrust myself to my Father, who takes care of everything and loves me greatly”.

“God is not a distant and anonymous being”, the Pope explained. “He is our refuge, the source of our serenity and our peace. He is the rock of our salvation, to Whom we can cling in the certainty we will not fall. … For us. God is our great friend, ally and Father, but we are not always aware of this. We are not aware that we have a friend, an ally, a Father Who loves us, and we prefer to seek refuge in immediate goods we can touch, on contingent goods, forgetting and at times rejecting the supreme good, that is, God’s paternal love. It is so important to feel that He is our Father in this time of orphanhood! … We drift away from God’s love when w go in the obsessive search for earthly goods and riches, thus manifesting an exaggerated love of these realities”.

Jesus tells us that this tiresome and illusory search is the reason for our unhappiness, and gives His disciples a fundamental rule of life: “Seek first, instead, the Kingdom of God”. “It is about implementing the plan that Jesus proclaimed in the Sermon on the Mount, trusting in God Who does not disappoint … becoming faithful administrators of the goods He has given us, including earthly goods, but without ‘exaggerating’, as if everything, including our salvation, depended solely on us. This evangelical attitude necessitates a clear choice, which today’s passage indicates with precision: ‘You cannot serve God and money’, either the Lord or fascinating but illusory idols. This choice we are called to make then has repercussions on all our actions, plans and commitments. It is a clear choice that must be continually renewed, because there is a pressing temptation to reduce everything to money, pleasure and power”.

“Although honouring these idols leads to tangible, if fleeting results, choosing God and His Kingdom does not always show its fruits immediately. It is a decision that is taken in hope and that leaves to God its full realisation. Christian hope looks to the future fulfilment of God’s promise and does not falter in the face of difficulty, since it is founded on God’s fidelity, which never fails. He is faithful, He is a faithful father, He is a faithful friend, He is a faithful ally”.

“May the Virgin Mary help us to entrust ourselves to the love and goodness of our heavenly Father, to live in Him and with Him. This is the prerequisite for overcoming the torments and adversities of life, and also persecutions, as the witness of so many of our brothers and sisters shows us”.