Appeal for Ukraine and Christian fraternity
Pope Francis asked for prayers for Ukraine on Sunday, which he said was living through a delicate situation.
The Holy Father expressed the hope that all parts of the country “will endeavour to overcome misunderstandings and build together the future of the nation.” The Pope also appealed to the international community “to support any initiative for dialogue and harmony.”
He made the call following the recitation of the Angelus in St Peter’s Square. Before the Marian prayer and referring to Sunday’s liturgy, the Pope underlined the need to trust in the Divine Providence of God and also stressed as Christians, we should help our brothers and sisters who are in need.
Looking at society today where people live in precarious conditions such as poverty and the difficulties faced by many as a result of the economic crisis that offends their dignity, the Pope said that in times like these the words of Jesus may seem abstract. But in reality he underlined, these words are more present than ever because they remind us that we cannot serve two masters : God and wealth. As long as everyone tries to accumulate for themselves Pope Francis added, there will never be justice.
The Holy Father went on to say that “A heart occupied by his own desire is an empty one “because Jesus has repeatedly warned the rich, a heart possessed by riches leaves little room for faith.The Pope noted that “To make sure that no one lacks bread, water, clothing, housing , work, health, we must all recognize that we are children of the Father who is in heaven , and then brothers and sisters” and we should act accordingly as Christians.
Following the recitation of the Angelus prayer the Pope looked towards the beginning of Lent. He described it as a journey of conversion, to combat evil with the weapons of prayer , fasting and mercy . Pope Francis stressed that humanity needs justice, reconciliation , and peace, and it will only have them by turning to God.
The Holy Father ended by expressing his fraternal solidarity with those who at this time are tested by poverty and violent conflict.