Tuesday, July 5

The Pope thanks God that the world reacts responsibly to the pandemic

Vatican City



Pope Francis closed the year by participating in the traditional prayer of «You gods»In St. Peter’s Basilica to give thanks to God for the year that has just ended. The Pope limped on arrival, but looked good and stopped to greet the mayor of Rome who also attended.

Francisco followed the prayer in the front row instead of presiding over the almost an hour and a half ceremony, to avoid the long entrance procession and not stand for too long. In fact, sat most of the time.

Just last year he had to cancel his participation in this end of the year prayer because of an acute attack of sciatica.

Francis has not given up reading the homily he had prepared, and has done so standing up.

The Pope has noted the increase in “the feeling of confusion throughout the world” throughout the year due to the pandemic. «After a first phase of reaction, in which we felt solidarity in the same boat, the temptation of ‘every man for himself‘. But thank God we have reacted again, with a sense of responsibility ”, he assured.

According to Francis, this “responsibility for solidarity comes from Jesus, who has forever imprinted on history the course of people’s original vocation: to be sisters and brothers, children of the same Father.”

The Pope recalled that precisely the feast of Christmas helps to awaken a necessary attitude in these times, «the amusement»Before the mystery of God who becomes man. This is what “the shepherds of Bethlehem experienced, who first received the angel’s announcement and then found the sign that had been indicated to them, a Child wrapped in swaddling clothes in a manger.”

Francisco was not referring to a limited amazement «a superficial emotion, linked to the exteriority of the party, or worse still, to a consumer frenzy. If Christmas comes down to this, tomorrow will be the same as yesterday and next year will be the same as the previous one. Living Christmas like this is “like warming ourselves for a few moments with the fire of matches, instead of exposing ourselves with all our being to the force of the Event,” he assured.

He explained that “Christian wonder does not come from special effects, from fantastic worlds, but from mystery of reality», Which is the birth of the Child God. Considering it and meditating on it, “you feel the closeness of God, you feel that God has not abandoned his people.” Especially in this Christmas of contagions and restrictions, in which “the problems have not disappeared, the difficulties and the worries are not lacking.”

The tradition is that the Pope addresses in this meeting some problems of the Eternal City, which are similar to those of the great capitals of Europe. And he does it openly, sometimes with a harsh tone.

“In Rome everyone feels at home, because this city contains in itself a universal openness. It comes from their history, from their culture; comes above all from the Gospel of Christ, who has cast here deep roots by the blood of the martyrs», He recalled.

“But even so, let’s be careful,” he asked. “A city is not welcoming and fraternal because of its facades, great speeches or high-sounding events.”

The Pope says that the thermometer to discover the degree of humanity of a great capital is “the daily care, ‘during the week’, of those who are having a worse time, of the families that feel the weight of the crisis, of people with severe disabilities and their families, of those who need public transport to go to work every day, of those who live on the outskirts, of those who have been overwhelmed by some failure in their lives and need social services » .

«Rome is a wonderful city, which never ceases to enchant; But for those who live in it, it is also an exhausting city, unfortunately not always worthy for its citizens and visitors, a city that sometimes discards people “, he lamented.

«My wish is that everyone, who lives here and those who visit it for work, pilgrimage or tourism, can appreciate it more and more for how it cares for the welcome, the dignity of life, nature, the most fragile and vulnerable“, has said.

“Let everyone be surprised to discover that the beauty of Rome is consistent and inspires gratitude,” he added.

After the ceremony, the Pope planned to visit the colorful monumental nativity scene that Peru has brought to St. Peter’s Square. However, 24 hours before her spokesperson announced that she had decided to postpone the visit to avoid crowds in the middle of a pandemic.

It’s a shame because this year’s scene is very popular with the pilgrims. The characters wear typical costumes of the Andes, and the Virgin and Saint Joseph carry the Child Jesus wrapped in a indigenous blanket from Huancavelica, from the Inca Trail, tied with a ‘chumpi’, a braided ribbon.

The Three Wise Men this year do not arrive at the Vatican on camels but on Peruvian llamas, and they carry in their typical food panniers from the Andes like potatoes, quinoa, kiwicha and cañihua. In addition, through the scene, among the shepherds, one can see animals such as the condor, but also alpacas, vicuñas, sheep and vizcas.

Francisco still has time to see it as it will remain in the center of the square until January 9.

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