In his Sunday Angelus address, Pope Francis told pilgrims that adoration of God and service to others spread the fire of God’s love and change the world, one heart at a time.
“I invite everyone to discover the beauty of the prayer of adoration and to exercise it often,” he said.
The pope focused on Jesus’ words from Sunday’s reading, taken from the Gospel of Luke: “I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing!”
“These words are intended to help the disciples to abandon any attitude of laziness, apathy, indifference and closure to welcome the fire of God’s love; that love which, as Saint Paul reminds us, ‘has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit,’” Pope Francis said.
“Jesus reveals to his friends, and also to us, his most ardent desire: to bring to earth the fire of the Father’s love, which kindles life and through which man is saved,” he said.
Pope Francis said the Christian witness to the Gospel is like a beneficial fire, “overcoming every division among individuals, social categories, peoples, and nations.”
“It burns all forms of particularism and keeps charity open to all,” he said, adding that it has “a single preference: that for the poorest and the excluded.”
“It is a question of not living in a hypocritical way, but of being willing to pay the price for coherent choices – this is the attitude that each of us should look for in life: consistency – paying the price to be consistent with the Gospel.”
Pope Francis pointed to the many young people who volunteer their free time to serve the sick, the poor, and people with disabilities.
He said it was important to not only call oneself a Christian, but also to reflect this in daily actions of service and love.
“It is good to say that we are Christians, but above all we must be Christians in concrete situations, bearing witness to the Gospel which is essentially love for God and for our brothers,” he said.
“To live according to the spirit of the Gospel it is necessary that, in the face of ever new needs that are looming in the world, there are disciples of Christ who know how to respond with new initiatives of charity.”
Picture: A group of young people who walked from Assisi watch as Pope Francis leads the Angelus from the window of his studio overlooking St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican on August 15 2019. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)