Before the recitation of the Marian Prayer, Pope Francis reflected on Sunday’s Gospel reading from Mark in which Jesus addresses the objections of scribes and Pharisees who accuse his disciples of not following traditional ritual precepts. The Pope explained that, Our Lord knows he is being tested, but he wants to draw these men away from the error in which they have fallen, that is, “to overthrow the will of God by neglecting his commandments to observe human traditions.”
Charity and vigilance
The Pope went on to say, the message of Sunday’s Gospel is also reinforced by the voice of the Apostle James, who tells us how true religion must be: that being, “to visit orphans and widows who are suffering and not to be contaminated by this world”. “Visiting orphans and widows” underlined the Pope, “means practicing charity towards others, starting from the neediest, the most fragile, the most marginal. They are the people of whom God takes special care, and asks us to do the same.”
He also explained that the phrase “do not let yourself be contaminated by this world” does not mean isolating oneself and closing oneself off to reality…it means to be vigilant so that our way of thinking and acting is not polluted…by vanity, greed, pride.”
The Pontiff then invited the faithful to welcome the Word with an open mind and heart”, adding that it, purifies our heart, our actions and our relationship with God and with others and is freed from hypocrisy.
Remaining steadfast to the Gospel
At the end of this Angelus address, Pope Francis recalled the Beatification on Saturday of Anna Kolesárová. She was killed, he said, “for resisting those who wanted to violate her dignity and her chastity.” This courageous girl, the Pope continued, helps young Christians to remain steadfast in fidelity to the Gospel, even when it requires going against the tide and paying the ultimate price.