Pope Francis met with members of a European association the day after having to cancel an audience due to a bad cold.
Just one verse each day.
While a cold prevented Pope Francis from speaking and forced him to cancel an audience on February 23, 2023, he resumed his normal rhythm on February 24, honoring a busy morning filled with appointments. In fact, he received members of the Benelux (Belgium, Luxembourg and Netherlands) Association Pro Petri Sededuring their pilgrimage to Rome.
This body focuses on supporting the pope by working with the local Church and its bishops. They usually focus on initiatives to pray and raise money for the pope and the Holy See. Francis in fact thanked those present, who had come to the Vatican to bring the offerings they had collected to support the Holy See’s charitable works around the world. He also remembered the associations’ predecessors saying “they were not afraid to spend their lives for the love of the Church.”
The call to give “is no less urgent” today, the Pontiff stressed to the association, which has been present in Belgium, the Netherlands and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg since 1970. He emphasized how so many still suffer from “war, violence, exclusion, material and spiritual poverty.”
Referring to the example of the apostles in the first century, the Successor of Peter emphasized that Christians are only “temporary administrators of good.”
“All that we possess is a gift from God, and we must allow ourselves to be enlightened by Him in the stewardship of the goods we have received,” he insisted.
The Pontiff therefore urged “to fight poverty with what He gives us; for the Lord gives us in abundance so that we in turn can give ourselves.” He encouraged us to take time to “to love the smallest and most defenseless, the abandoned and despised, those who are discriminated against and marginalized.”
At the beginning of Lent, inaugurated on Ash Wednesday, February 22, the Pope encouraged us to “move from the bondage of selfishness to the freedom to love and serve God and the brethren.”