FRANCIS IN ROME •
In the first Angelus of 2016, the Pope extended an invitation to open “the doors of our heart to Christ” and warned against the “evil that lies in wait at our door and our hearts to enter.” In order to prevent it from entering, Francis invited the faithful to always carry a Gospel in their pockets and to read “a passage every day.”
Complete text of the Angelus on 3 January 2016
Dear brothers and sisters, happy Sunday!
The liturgy of today, the second Sunday after Christmas, presents to us the Prologue of the Gospel of Saint John, in which is proclaimed that “the Word” – that is, the creative Word of God – “was made flesh, and dwelt among us” (Jn 1:14). That Word, which dwells in heaven, that is, in the dimension of God, came to earth so that we might listen and be able to know and touch with our hand the love of the Father. The Word of God is Himself the Only-begotten Son, made man, full of love and of faithfulness (cfr. Jn 1:14), Jesus Himself.
The Evangelist does not hide the dramatic nature of the Incarnation of the Son of God, emphasizing that the gift of the love of God is matched with the non-reception on the part of men. The Word is the light, and yet men have preferred the darkness; the Word came unto His own, but they did not receive Him (cfr. vv. 9-10); they closed the door in the face of the Son of God. It is the mystery of evil that insinuates [itself] into our lives, too, and that demands vigilance and care on our part so that it will not prevail. The book of Genesis says – in a good phrase that makes us understand this – it says that evil “lies in wait at our door” (cfr. Gn 4:7). Woe to us if we allow it to enter; it would then close our door to anyone else. Instead we are called to throw open the door of our heart to the Word of God, to Jesus, in order thus to become His children.
This solemn beginning of the Gospel was already proclaimed on Christmas today; today it is proposed to us once more. It is the invitation of Holy Mother Church to welcome this Word of salvation, this mystery of light. If we welcome Him, if we welcome Jesus, we will grow in understanding and in the love of the Lord, we will learn to be merciful as He is. Especially in this Holy Year of Mercy, let us make sure that the Gospel becomes ever more incarnate in our own lives too. Drawing near to the Gospel, meditating on it and incarnating it in daily life is the best way to understand Jesus and bring Him to others. This is the vocation and the joy of every baptized person: showing Jesus and giving Him to others; but to do that we have to know Him and have Him within us, as the Lord of our life. And He will defend us from evil, from the devil. He is always lying in wait by our door, and wants to enter.
With a renewed burst of filial abandonment, let us entrust ourselves once again to Mary: Let us contemplate the sweet image of the mother of Jesus and our mother in these days of the manger.
After the Angelus prayer, Pope Francis said:
Dear brothers and sisters,
I extend a cordial greeting to you, the faithful of Rome and the pilgrims from Italy and other countries. I greet the families, associations, the various parish groups, in particular, those from Monzambano, the confirmands from Bonate Sotto and the youth from Maleo.
On this first Sunday of the year, I renew my desire for peace and goodness in the Lord. In joyful moments as well as in the sad, we trust in Him, who is our mercy and our hope! I also recall the commitment that we made on the first day of the year, the Day of Peace: “Overcome indifference and conquer peace.” With God’s grace we can put this into practice. I also recall the advice I have given you very often: read a paragraph from the Gospel every day, a passage from the Gospel to know Jesus better, to open our hearts to Jesus, and so we can make him better known to others. Carry a small Gospel in your pocket, handbag: it does us good. Don’t forget: let us read a passage from the Gospel every day.
I wish you a good Sunday and a good lunch. And please, please, don’t forget to pray for me. See you soon.
(English translation from Vatican Radio)