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For Jerusalem an appeal to moderation and dialogue

· ​At the Angelus the Pontiff recalls the violence in the Holy City and invites prayer for peace ·

At the Angelus on Sunday, 23 July, the Pope launched a heartfelt appeal to moderation and dialogue for Jerusalem. After sharing that he had been “following with trepidation the grave tension and violence these days” in the Holy City, Francis asked the faithful present in Saint Peter’s Square to join him “in praying that the Lord may inspire in everyone the aims of reconciliation and peace”.

Moments before, the Pontiff had reflected on the day’s Gospel reading (Mt 13:24-43) dedicated to “three parables through which Jesus speaks to the crowds about the Kingdom of God”. Focusing in particular on the first of the three, that of the good wheat and the weeds, the Pope explained that this parable “illustrates the problem of evil in the world and highlights God’s patience”. In fact, “with this image, Jesus tells us that in this world good and evil are so intertwined that it is impossible to separate them and uproot all evil. God alone can do this, and he will do so in the last judgement”. Thus “the difficult exercise of discernment between good and evil” is carried out in “the field of Christians’ freedom”. He then pointed out that this field “involves connecting, with great trust in God and in his providence, two seemingly contradictory approaches”. The first “is that of wanting to be good wheat … and thus keeping away from the evil one”. The second means “preferring a Church that is leaven in the dough, that is not afraid to get her hands dirty washing her children’s clothes, rather than a Church of ‘pure ones’ who presume to judge ahead of time who will be in the Kingdom of God and who will not”. Today, the Pope noted, the Lord “helps us to understand that good and evil cannot be identified with definite territories or defined human groups: ‘These are the good, those are the bad’”. On the contrary, he added, “the boundary line between good and evil passes through the heart of each person”. For this reason, the Pope concluded, God “also gave us Confession, because we all need to be forgiven of our sins”.

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St. Peter’s Square

Nov. 21, 2017

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