Pope Francis prays Angelus with faithful

2014-07-09 Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis prayed the Angelus with the faithful gathered in St Peter’s Square on Sunday. In remarks ahead of the traditional prayer of Marian devotion, the Holy Father focused on the Gospel reading of the day, taken from the Gospel according to St Matthew (11:25-30), in which The Lord proclaims, “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”

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“This, Jesus’ invitation,” said Pope Francis, “extends to the present day, reaching the many brothers and sisters weighed down by poor living conditions, by difficult life situations and sometimes by a lack of valid points of reference.” Pope Francis went on to say that people who are suffering and even to the point of exhaustion due to the unbearable weight they bear of abandonment and indifference, are to be found in the poorest countries of the world and also in the richest countries, often in the peripheries and hinterlands of the places where the wealthiest dwell.

“On the margins of society,” he said, “there are many men and women worn down by poverty, but also by  dissatisfaction and frustration in life.” He spoke also of the many people, who are forced by circumstances to emigrate from their homelands, often at risk of their very lives. The Holy Father went on to speak of the great many others, who each day bear the burden of an economic system that exploits man, imposes an unbearable yoke, which the privileged few prefer not to carry. “To each of these sons of the Father who is in heaven,” said Pope Francis, “Jesus says, ‘Come unto me.’”

The Holy Father went on to explain that the Lord’s invitation is not only for the economically, politically and socially disadvantaged. It is also for those, who, though they "have it all" from a material point of view, nevertheless suffer from an emptiness of heart. “Jesus promises to give refreshment to all,” he said, adding, “there is, however, also an invitation, which is like a commandment: ‘Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart.” The Pope then explained that this “yoke” of the Lord consists in taking the burden of the other upon oneself, with brotherly love. The Holy Father told the faithful, “Once you have received the refreshment and comfort of Christ, we are called in turn to become refreshment and comfort for our brothers and sisters, with a meek ​​and humble attitude, in imitation of the Master.”

(From archive of Vatican Radio)