Jesus teaches us to ask for it not only for ourselves, but for all the world. "Let us think of the children who are in countries at war: of the starving children of Yemen, of Syria, of the starving children where there is no bread, of South Sudan." An honor for Sr. Maria Concetta missionary in Africa for 60 years. "With this gesture, I intend to express my gratitude also to all the missionaries, priests, religious and lay people who spread the seeds of the Kingdom of God in every part of the world."
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - The "bread" that is asked of God in the Our Father, that is, daily sustenance, "is not" my,” but" our ". "This is what Jesus wants. He teaches us to ask for it not only for ourselves, but for the whole fraternity of the world. If we do not pray in this way, the "Our Father" ceases to be a Christian prayer ," warned Pope Francis today during the general audience.
The Pope reflected on the second part of the Our Father, "the one in which we present our needs to God. This second part begins with a word that smells of everyday life: bread ".
Today's general audience also saw the decoration of a nun and, with her, all the missionaries. In fact, Francis presented Sister Maria Concetta Esu, of the Congregation of the Daughters of St. Joseph of Genoni.
"Sister Maria Concetta - the Pope said - is 85 years old, and has been a missionary in Africa for almost 60 years, where she is serving as midwife. I met her in Bangui, when I went to open the Jubilee of Mercy. There she told me that in her life she helped at the birth of about three thousand children. Wonderful! In these days she came to Rome for a meeting with her sisters, and today she came to the audience with her Superior. Then I thought of taking advantage of this opportunity to give her a sign of gratitude and to say a big thank you for her testimony! ".
"Dear Sister, in my name and in the name of the Church, I offer you this honor. It is a sign of our affection and our "thank you" for all the work you have done among the African sisters and brothers, in the service of life, of children, of mothers, of families. With this gesture dedicated to you, I intend to express my gratitude also to all the missionaries, priests, religious and laity, who spread the seeds of the Kingdom of God in every part of the world. Your job is great. You "burned" life sowing the word of God with your testimony ... And in this world you do not make news. Dear brothers and sisters, Sister Maria Concetta, after this commitment she will return to Africa. Let us accompany it with prayer. And his example helps us all to live the Gospel where we are ”.
Previously, he stressed that the "bread" that we ask of the Lord in prayer is "ours" and is "the same one that will accuse us one day. We will be reproached for the little habit of breaking it with those around us, of sharing it. It was a bread given for humanity, and instead it was eaten only by someone: love cannot bear this ". "This prayer contains an attitude of empathy and solidarity. In my hunger I feel the hunger of the multitudes, and then I will pray to God until their request is granted. Thus Jesus educates his community, his Church, to bring the needs of all to God: "We are all your children, Father, have mercy on us!"
Francis continued: “Let us think of the children who are in countries at war: of the starving children of Yemen, of Syria, of the starving children where there is no bread, in South Sudan".
"Once upon a time - he continued - there was a large crowd before Jesus; they were people who were hungry. Jesus asked if anyone had anything, and only one child was found, a boy willing to share his supply: five loaves and two fish. Jesus multiplied that generous gesture (see Jn 6: 9). That child had understood the lesson of the "Our Father": that food is not private property, let's put this in mind, but providence to share, with the grace of God. The true miracle performed by Jesus that day is sharing. He himself, multiplying that offered bread, anticipated the offering of Himself in the Eucharistic Bread. In fact, only the Eucharist is able to satiate the hunger for the infinite and the desire of God that animates every man, even in the search for daily bread".
"We are - he again emphasized, greeting the German-speaking faithful - all children of the Eternal Father, who sees us and provides for them. This fact creates a communion between us and a sharing of the gifts of the Father; we are therefore invited to give it to those in need and in difficulty ”.