Attack in Indonesia: the Pope, “Bring these violent actions to an end”

Attack in Indonesia: the Pope, “Bring these violent actions to an end”

By Giacomo Galeazzi/

Francis’ Regina Coeli on Ascension Sunday, a prayer for Indonesia struck by the attacks on three Christian churches. On Social Communications Day, “Shall the media always seek the truth” and he “thanks all the mothers for guarding their families, even from heaven”.

An applause and a greeting to all the mothers of the world "let us thank them for guarding their families", and a memory also for the mothers "who look at us from heaven and continue to guard us in prayer". So Pope Francis, off the cuff, in his Regina Coeli in St. Peter's Square today, May 13, the day on which the Church commemorates the Ascension of Christ, and that many countries around the world celebrate as Mother’s Day. "Let us pray to our heavenly Mother who today under the name of Our Lady of Fatima helps us to continue our journey", said the Pope.

Francis then did not fail to assure his prayers for the people of Indonesia, shocked by three suicide bombings this morning by assuring the “dear people of Indonesia,” and especially Christians in the city of Surabya, that he was “particularly close” to them in the wake of deadly attacks earlier on Sunday. “Together,” he said, “let us call upon the God of peace, that He might bring these violent actions to an end; and that in the hearts of all, space might be found for feelings, not of hatred and violence, but of reconciliation and fraternity.” In what is the the deadliest attack in Indonesia since 2005, three churches in the Country's second-largest city were bombed in apparently coordinated attacks, leaving at least 11 people dead and more than forty others wounded.

In his catechesis Pope Francis said: "We encounter Christ in our brothers and sisters, especially in the poorest, in those who suffer in their own flesh the hard and mortifying experience of old and new poverty". Then he dwelt on the meaning of the Ascension, which "has two main elements. On the one hand, it directs our gaze to heaven, where Jesus, glorified, sits at the right hand of God. On the other, it reminds us of the beginning of the mission of the Church: Jesus, risen and ascended into heaven, sends his disciples to spread the Gospel throughout the world".

The Ascension "exhorts us to look up to heaven, to then turn it immediately to earth, carrying out the tasks that the Risen Lord entrusts to us", Bergoglio stressed. It is "an unlimited mission, that is literally without borders, that exceeds human forces". Jesus in fact says: "Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature". "The task that Jesus entrusts to a small group of simple men without great intellectual capacities seems too audacious!" the Pope comments. Yet, "this small group of disciples, irrelevant in the face of the great powers of the world, is sent to carry the message of love and mercy of Jesus to every corner of the earth.

But, the Pope specifies, "God’s plan can be realized only with the strength that God himself grants to the Apostles". In this sense, "Jesus assures them that their mission will be sustained by the Holy Spirit"; He says, "you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Thus, according to Francis, "This mission, begun by the Apostles, has been carried on by their successors through the ages, and continues even today. “It requires the collaboration of all of us”.

Then "the Ascension of the Lord into heaven, while inaugurating a new form of presence of Jesus among us, asks us to have our eyes and heart ready to meet him, to serve him and to be His witness to others", Jorge Mario Bergoglio concludes. "It is about being men and women of the Ascension, that is, seekers of Christ along the paths of our time, bringing his word of salvation to the ends of the earth. Just as at the beginning the Risen Christ sent his apostles with the power of the Holy Spirit, so today he sends us, with the same strength, to set concrete and visible signs of hope... Each one, by virtue of the Baptism he or she has received, is in turn enabled to proclaim the Gospel".

Finally, Francis invokes the Virgin Mary, "who, as Mother of the Lord who died and rose, animated the faith of the first community of disciples", so that "she may help us to lift our hearts high, as the Liturgy exhorts us to do" and, at the same time "may she help us to have "our feet on the ground", to proclaim the Gospel with courage in the concrete situations of life and history".

After Queen Coeli, the Pope recalls that today is the World Day of Social Communications, on the theme "Fake news - or false news - and journalism of peace. The Bishop of Rome greets "all media workers, especially journalists who are committed to seeking the truth of information, contributing to a just and peaceful society".

A greeting goes to all the pilgrims present in St. Peter's Square, in particular the musicians and folklore groups from Germany, the faithful Paraguayans of the community "Virgen de Caacupé" in Rome, the participants at the UciimI conference - 50 years after the death of the founder Gesualdo Nosengo, and the "Dives in Misericordia" movement in Naples.

Pope Francis also addressed a special thought to the employees of "Federal Express Europe", in the hope that the current difficulties will find a positive solution, and to the Alpini, gathered in Trento for the National Assembly. "I encourage them to be witnesses of charity and peacemakers, following the example of Teresio Olivelli, an Alpine soldier, recently proclaimed Blessed defender of the weak".

Sun, 05/13/2018 - 21:06
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