12/31/2019, 18.51
VATICAN
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Pope: in cities and also in the Church, may differences and barriers be overcome

Celebrating the “Te Deum” at the end of the year, Francis affirms that “we are called to meet others and listen to their existence, their cry for help.  To listen is already an act of love! To have time for others, to dialogue, to recognize, with a contemplative gaze, the presence and action of God in their existence, to witness with deeds more than with words the new life of the Gospel, is truly a service of love that changes the reality".

 

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - "Testifying" with facts to the new life of the Gospel, so that "fresh air" may  circulate in the Church, the desire to overcome the old logic of opposition and barriers, to collaborate together, building a more just and fraternal city.  They are the first Vespers of the solemnity of Mary Most Holy Mother of God and the solemn "Te Deum" which mark the end of the calendar year, an opportunity for the Pope to speak in Rome, "his" diocese, and therefore to all his faithful.

In Francis' thought the choice of God is highlighted, that "when God wants to make all things new through his Son", he does not choose the great city of Jerusalem, but the small and marginal city of Nazareth, and the womb of "a  small and poor woman of her people ”.  And "God does not choose us because of our" skill ", but precisely because we are and we feel small."

“God’s decision is clear: to reveal His love He chose a little city and a scorned city, and when He reached Jerusalem, he joined the population of sinners and the rejected. None of the inhabitants of the city realized that the Son of God made Man was walking through its streets, probably not even His disciples.”".

“Jesus would be crucified outside the city, high up on Golgotha, to be condemned by the gaze of all the inhabitants and derided by their sarcastic comments. However, from there, from the cross, the new tree of life, God’s power would draw all to Himself. And also the Mother of God, who is the Addolorata under the cross, is about to extend Her maternity to all men. The Mother of God is the Mother of the Church and Her maternal tenderness reaches all men.  God has pitched His tent in the city . . . , and He has never gone from there!".

"His presence in the city, also in this our city of Rome, must not be fabricated but discovered, revealed” (Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, 71). It is we who must ask God for the grace of new eyes, capable of “a contemplative gaze, namely, a look of faith that discovers God in our homes, in our streets, in our Squares” (Ibid., 71).".

“Through His Spirit, which pronounces His Word in every human heart, God blesses His children and encourages them to work for peace in the city. I would like our gaze on the city of Rome this evening to look at things from the point of view of God’s gaze. The Lord rejoices to see how many realities of goodness are accomplished every day, how many efforts and how much dedication there is in promoting fraternity and solidarity."

"Truly, God has never stopped changing history and the face of our city through the population of little ones and the poor who inhabit it. He chooses them, inspires them, motivates them to action, makes them solidary; He drives them to activate networks, to create virtuous bonds, to build bridges, not walls. It is in fact through these thousand rivulets of the living water of the Spirit that the Word of God makes the city fecund and from being sterile renders her “the joyous mother of children” (Psalm 113:9). And what does the Lord ask of the Church of Rome? He entrusts His Word to us and pushes us to throw ourselves into the fray, to involve ourselves in an encounter and relationship with the inhabitants of the city so that “His message runs swiftly.” We are called to encounter others and to listen to their existence, to their cry for help. To listen is already an act of love! To have time for others, to dialogue, to recognize, with a contemplative gaze, the presence and action of God in their existence, to witness with deeds more than with words the new life of the Gospel, is truly a service of love that changes the reality. By doing so, in fact, new air circulates in the city and also in the Church, the wish to start out again, to overcome the old logics of opposition and fences, to collaborate together, building a more just and fraternal city. We must not be afraid or feel inadequate for such an important mission. Let us remember: God doesn’t choose us for our “bravura,” but, in fact, because we are and feel little. We thank Him for His Grace, which has sustained us in this year and with joy we elevate to Him the song of praise".

At the end of the celebration, Pope Francis visited the crib set up in St. Peter's square.

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