The Vatican

Pope urges people to take to the roads, extend Gaza truce

"Peace, please, peace, may the truce in Gaza continue and may all the hostages be released," Pope Francis urged in this morning's catechesis, still suffering from a lung infection, in the Paul VI Hall with thousands of faithful. He also asked us to go out to the crossroads and give reasons for our faith and hope.

Francisco Otamendi-November 29, 2023-Reading time: 3 minutes

The Pope at the Audience of November 29, 2023 ©CNS photo/Pablo Esparza

The Pope, still convalescing from a flu-like illness, which led his doctors to ask him to cancel his trip to the Dubai Climate Summit, wanted to personally read in the Audience a message of peace for the Holy Land, so that "the ongoing truce in the Holy Land may continue". GazaThe government is calling for the release of all hostages and for the speeding up of humanitarian aid".

"Water is missing, bread is missing, people are suffering, it is the simple people," the Pope added. "Let us ask for peace. War is a defeat, everyone loses. Only one group wins, the arms manufacturers, they make a good profit with the death of others". The Pope also referred, as he always does, to "the dear Ukrainian people, who suffer so much, even in war", and asked for prayers.

Cancellation of the Pope's trip to Dubai

The Pontiff has been suffering from the flu since Saturday with an inflammation of the respiratory tract. Spokesman Matteo Bruni said yesterday: "The general clinical picture has improved, but doctors have asked the Pope not to make the trip planned for the next few days on the occasion of COP28. Francis, "with great regret", accepted".

People from the Circus Talent Festival entertained the Pope and the faithful at today's Audience with a brief display. From the beginning, the Holy Father let ecclesiastics from the Secretariat of State and some of the usual readers, such as a Polish nun, read the messages to the faithful in different languages.

At the crossroads of the roads

After dedicating the catechesis of recent Wednesdays to evangelizing with joy, and to doing so for everyone, Francis focused this morning on evangelizing "today". One of the core messages was the need to "go out to the crossroads, where people are, to give reasons for our faith and our hope, not only with words but also with the witness of our lives".

Furthermore, in his synthesis for the faithful of the different languages, the Pope alluded to the coming coming of the Advent. For example, he wished the English-speaking pilgrims "a fruitful Advent journey to welcome in Christmas to the Son of God, the Prince of Peace".

In his message, the Holy Father relied on St. Paul, when he urged the Corinthians: "At the right time I listened to you, on the day of salvation I helped you. See, now is the favorable time, now is the day of salvation". And he also denounced, in order to underline the importance of the person, that, as in the city of Babel, now the individual project is sacrificed to the efficacy of the collective. But God confuses the languages, re-establishes the differences". 

"Not to lose the desire for God, go down to the street."

"The Lord turns humanity away from its delirium of omnipotence," which seeks to make "God insufficient and useless." But as Francis wrote in the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii gaudiumThe "evangelization that is necessary is an evangelization that to illuminate new ways of relating to God, to others and to space, and to awaken fundamental values". 

In another moment, the Pope pointed out that "apostolic zeal is a witness that the Gospel is alive. It is necessary to go down to the street, to go to the places where people suffer, work and study", "to the crossroads of the roads, to be as a Church a leaven of dialogue, of encounter, not to be afraid of dialogue", and at the same time "not to lose the desire of God to give peace and joy". "Truth is more credible when it is witnessed with life", "apostolic zeal is audacity and creativity", he said. "Let us help the people of this world not to lose their desire for God," he added to the Arabic-speaking faithful.

The authorFrancisco Otamendi

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