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Monday, February 28, 2011


VATICAN CITY, 27 FEB 2011 (VIS) - At midday today Benedict XVI appeared at the window of his study to pray the Angelus with faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square below.

  He commented on today's reading from the Prophet Isaiah who, consoling Jerusalem afflicted by calamities says: "Can a woman forget her nursing child, or show no compassion for the child of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you".

  This phrase, said the Pope, is "a call to trust in the indefectible love of God", as is the episode in the Gospel of St. Matthew in which Jesus exhorts His disciples "to trust in the providence of the heavenly Father, Who nourishes the birds of the air, clothes the lilies of the field and knows our every need. Thus the Master says: 'Do not worry, saying: What will we drink? or: What will we wear? For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things?'

  "Faced with the situation of so many people who, near and far, live in dire poverty, these words of Jesus may seem unrealistic, even evasive", the Holy Father added. "Yet in fact the Lord wants us to understand clearly that we cannot serve two masters: God and money. Those who believe in God, the Father full of love for His children, give priority to seeking His Kingdom and His will. This is the exact opposite of fatalism. ... Faith in Providence, does not, in fact, dispense us from the arduous struggle of living a dignified life, but frees us from our attachment to things and our fear of the morrow".

  And he went on: "Clearly this teaching of Jesus, while it remains true and valid for everyone, is practiced in different ways depending on our different vocations: A Franciscan friar may follow it more radically, while a family man will have to take account of his duties towards his wife and children. Yet in all cases Christians stand out for their absolute faith in the heavenly Father, just like Jesus" Who "showed us what it means to live with our feet firmly planted on the ground, attentive to the real situation of our neighbours and, at the same time, with our hearts in heaven, immersed in God's mercy".

  Finally the Pope called on the Virgin Mary to intercede "that we may all learn to live a more simple and sober life, working hard every day and respecting the creation which God entrusted to our care".
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