Angelus Address, Havana, Plaza de la Revolución
Sunday, September 20, 2015
I thank Cardinal Jaime Ortega y Alamino, archbishop of Havana, for his kind words, as well as my brother bishops, priests, religious and lay faithful. I also greet the President and all the authorities present.
We heard in the Gospel as the disciples were afraid to question Jesus when he spoke of his passion and death. He frightened them and they could not understand the idea of seeing Jesus suffering on the cross. We too are tempted to flee our crosses and the crosses of others, to turn away from the suffering. At the end of the Mass, in which Jesus is again given to us with his body and blood, now turn our gaze to the Virgin, our Mother. And we ask her to teach us to stay close to the cross of suffering brothers. That we learn to see Jesus in every man weary of life on the road; in every brother hungry or thirsty, it is stripped or sick or in prison. Together with Mother, under the cross, we can figure out who is really “the greatest”, and what it means to be united to the Lord and share in his glory.
We learn from Mary to have a heart awake and attentive to the needs of others. As we were taught at the Wedding at Cana, we are reminders in the small details of life, and do not stop praying for each other, because no one lacks the wine of love again, the joy that Jesus offers us.
Right now I feel compelled to turn my thoughts to the beloved land of Colombia, “aware of the crucial importance of the present moment, in which, with renewed effort and moved by hope, his children are trying to build a peaceful society.” That the blood of thousands of innocent people during many decades of armed conflict, together with that of Jesus Christ on the Cross, to support all the efforts that you are making, on this beautiful island, for a final reconciliation. And so the long night of pain and violence, with the will of all Colombians, can be transformed into an unending day of harmony, justice, brotherhood and love, respect for the institutions and the national and international law, because peace is durable. Please, we can not afford another failure in this path of peace and reconciliation.
I invite you now to join me in prayer to Mary, to put all our concerns and aspirations at the heart of Christ. And in a special way we pray for those who have lost hope, and do not find reasons to keep fighting; for those who suffer injustice, abandonment and loneliness; We pray for the elderly, the sick, children and young people, for all the families in need, because Maria dry their tears, to comfort them with his love of Mother, return them hope and joy. Holy Mother, I entrust these sons of Cuba: never leave them!