Pope Francis: Reach out to a friend who needs to hear that God loves them
Vatican City, Sep 11, 2022 / 05:05 am
Pope Francis urged Catholics Sunday to imitate the Lord’s dedicated search “for the lost sheep” by reaching out to friends and family who have drifted away from the faith.
“The Father asks us to be attentive to the children he misses the most. Let us think of someone we know, who is close to us and has perhaps never heard anyone say, ‘You know, you are important to God,’” Pope Francis said on Sept. 11.
Speaking from the window of the Apostolic Palace, the pope reflected on Jesus’ parables of mercy in the Gospel of Luke, particularly the parable of a shepherd who leaves 99 sheep in the desert to search for one who was lost.
“One who loves is concerned about the one who is missing, longs for who is absent, seeks who is lost, awaits those who have gone astray. For he wants no one to be lost,” the pope said in his Angelus address.
“Brothers and sisters, God is like this: he does not “take it easy” if we stray from him, he is grieved, he trembles in his innermost being; and he sets out to look for us until he takes us back into his arms.”
Pope Francis asked Catholics to reflect upon whether they imitate the Lord in seeking out those who are missing from their communities or whether they are content to be comfortable and calm within their own groups.
He said: “Let us then reflect on our relationships: do I pray for those who do not believe, who have drifted away?”
“Let us be troubled by these questions, and pray to Our Lady, mother who never tires of searching for and taking care of us, her children,” he added.
At the end of his Angelus address, the pope asked for people to continue to pray for the people of Ukraine that the Lord will be close to them and bring them hope. He announced that Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, the papal almoner, will soon be heading back to Ukraine again to “give concrete witness of the closeness of the pope and the Church.”
Pope Francis asked for prayers for his upcoming trip to Kazakhstan, where he will participate in the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions during his visit to the capital city of Nur-Sultan from Sept. 13–15.
The pope also remembered the life of an Italian missionary sister, Sister Maria De Coppi, who was murdered by Islamist terrorists in Mozambique last week.
“May her witness give strength and courage to Christians and to all the people of Mozambique,” he said.
Pope Francis underlined in his Angelus message that God excludes no one and “loves everyone as his children.” Therefore, he said, the Lord “comes in search of us whenever we are lost.”
“Remember: God always awaits us with open arms, whatever the situation in life in which we are lost may be,” he said
Dec 9, 2014
Like a shepherd finding lost sheep, the Church is a joyful mother who goes out and seeks her lost children, inviting them to consolation of the tenderness of Jesus, said Pope Francis in his daily homily Tuesday.
We pray for those of our parish and indeed those connected to our Parish who have died. We pray God’s mercy upon their soul. We ask our deceased to pray for us, as we pray for them.
Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
At that time the Lord appointed seventy-two others
whom he sent ahead of him in pairs
to every town and place he intended to visit.
He said to them,
“The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few;
so ask the master of the harvest
to send out laborers for his harvest.
Go on your way;
behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves.
Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals;
and greet no one along the way.
Into whatever house you enter, first say,
‘Peace to this household.’
If a peaceful person lives there,
your peace will rest on him;
but if not, it will return to you.
Stay in the same house and eat and drink what is offered to you,
for the labourer deserves his payment.
Do not move about from one house to another.
Whatever town you enter and they welcome you,
eat what is set before you,
cure the sick in it and say to them,
‘The kingdom of God is at hand for you.’
Jesus makes a powerful statement: “I am sending you like lambs among wolves.” He was highlighting that it will never be easy to follow his calling. When we stand out from the crowd to do something in His name, it takes enormous courage and confidence. It can feel lonely when your efforts are shunned. It wasn’t easy for the first disciples and it’s not easy for anyone today. How often was Jesus himself shunned and disrespected, while trying to carry out his father’s work? The lord recognises how difficult this mission is and that we cannot do it without Him.
He goes on “carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals; and greet no one along the way.” If we look at this line from a spiritual point of view, He is first saying – rely upon my providence and secondly keep focused upon your final goal. It’s not that money or speaking to strangers are in and of themselves bad; so long as they do not detract from the ultimate goal set for us by the Lord.
Notwithstanding our age or status of health; the lord has a mission for each of us to fulfill. There is without doubt, a voice calling you but are you listening? Are we truely satisfied that we are fulfilling the agenda set for us by the Lord. Can we look the Lord in the eye, understanding the enormous pain and suffering He endured for us and confidently say that we are worthy of a place with him in heaven; with the angels and saints having fulfilled our true mission here on earth, to the fullest of our abilities?
My Good Shepherd, I do resolve to embrace Your most holy will with all my might. Give me courage, trust and resolve to follow You wherever You lead. I give myself to You, dear Lord. Jesus, I trust in You.