During the Angelus, Pope Francis spoke about the refugees who died off Libya, asking the international community to act "promptly and decisively, to avoid the repetition of similar tragedies and to guarantee the safety and dignity of everyone". The prayer taught by Jesus to his disciples is an invitation to put oneself "directly in communication with the Father" in "a personal relationship with Him". It is a dialogue between "father and son".
Vatican City (AsiaNews) – In today's Angelus with the pilgrims in St Peter's Square, Pope Francis explained the value of the ‘Our Father’, the prayer taught by Jesus to his disciples, which is an invitation to put oneself "directly in communication with the Father" in "a personal relationship with Him."
Right after the Marian prayer, the Pope spoke about the sinking off Libya last Thursday of a boat carrying 250 migrants from Eritrea, Palestine and Sudan.
"I heard with sorrow,” the pontiff said, “the news of the tragic shipwreck that occurred in recent days in the waters of the Mediterranean, where dozens of migrants, including women and children, lost their lives. I renew a heartfelt appeal to the international community to act promptly and decisively, to avoid the repetition of similar tragedies and to guarantee the safety and dignity of everyone."
In his address to the crowd, the Holy Father urged everyone “to pray together with me for the victims and their families, and to ask ourselves, in our hearts, ‘Father, why?’” This was followed by a moment of silence.
Previously, speaking about the Gospel of the day (17th Sunday of Ordinary Time, C, Lk 11:1-13), Francis pointed out that the disciples “already knew how to pray, reciting the formulas of the Jewish tradition, but wished they could live the same ‘quality’ of the prayer of Jesus," which is means "having an experience of prayer, putting them directly in communication with the Father, arousing in them a longing for a personal relationship with Him."
"What we ask in the ‘Our Father’,” the Pope noted, “is already fully realised and given to us in the Only-begotten Son: the sanctification of the Name, the advent of the Kingdom, the gift of bread, forgiveness and liberation from evil. As we ask, we open our hand to receive. The prayer that the Lord has taught us is the synthesis of every prayer, and we always address it to the Father in communion with the brothers."
Putting aside his written text, Francis stressed the necessary "insistence" in prayer, giving as an example what happens "in my land" with the children who constantly ask the Father “Why? Why? Why?” without waiting for answers.
The series of questions, the Pope explained, expresses "insecurity", which children overcome only by attracting the attention of their father. We Christians attract God's attention by always asking him: "Father, Father, Father".
The Pope ended asking "Mary, a praying woman, to help us to pray to the Father, united with Jesus, to live the Gospel, guided by the Holy Spirit."