· Pope Francis' first General Audience ·
Appeal for the end of violence in the Central African Republic
“Jesus has no house because he dwells in people”. Simplicity is the way Pope Francis chose to make his message go straight to people's hearts. This morning, Wednesday, 27 March, at his first appointment with the traditional meeting with the faithful for the General Audience, he chose a clear, direct example to reaffirm the meaning of the Lord's constant presence among his people, the people among whom he chose to dwell. And he recalled that Jesus spoke to everyone, without distinction, “to the great and to the lowly, to the rich young man and to the poor widow, to the powerful and to the weak”; that “he brought God's mercy and forgiveness; that “he healed, comforted, understood; he instilled hope”; and that “he brought to all the presence of God who cares for every man and every woman, just as a good father and a good mother care for each one of their children”.
However, “God did not wait for us to approach him. Rather, it was he who moved toward us, without calculation or quantification”. Hence the invitation to rediscover Holy Week as an opportunity to learn once again “to follow, to accompany Christ”. Even if this demands that we first “come out of ourselves, come out of a dreary way of living faith that has become a habit”, he warned. “to come out of the temptation to close ourselves into our own plans, which ends by closing our horizons to God's creative action”. We should therefore continue to follow the Lord with courage, “carrying within us a ray of his love to all those we meet: this is what living Holy Week means.
In concluding the Audience, the Pope appealed for an end to violence and looting in the Central African Republic.
St. Peter’s Square
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