At the audience, the Pope underlined the importance of the figure of Saint Joseph who, “although apparently marginal, discreet, in the second line”, has “an unparalleled protagonism in the history of salvation”
VATICAN CITY. The current “gaseous” society finds in the story of Saint Joseph “a very precise indication of the importance of human bonds” and today’s world needs personalities like him who, “although apparently marginal, discreet, in the second line”, they have “an unparalleled protagonism in the history of salvation”. Pope Francis underlined this by deepening, at the general audience, the figure of Saint Joseph as the special year dedicated to him approaches.
The Gospel of Matthew, said Jorge Mario Bergoglio, “helps us to understand that the figure of Joseph, although apparently marginal, discreet, in the second line, represents instead a central piece in the history of salvation. Giuseppe lives his leading role without ever wanting to take over the scene. If we think about it, “our lives – continued Francis citing the apostolic letter Patris corde which he dedicated to Joseph at the start of this initiative – are woven and supported by ordinary people – usually forgotten – who do not appear in the headlines of newspapers and magazines (…). How many fathers, mothers, grandparents and grandmothers, teachers show our children, with small gestures, with daily gestures, how to face and go through a crisis by readjusting habits, looking up and stimulating prayer. How many people pray, offer and intercede for the good of all. “Thus, everyone can find in Saint Joseph, the man who goes unnoticed, the man of the daily presence, of the discreet and hidden presence, an intercessor, a support and a guides in times of difficulty. He reminds us that all those who are apparently hidden or on the “second line” have an unparalleled protagonism in the history of salvation. The world needs these men and women: men and women in the second line , but which support the development of our life, of each one of us, and which with prayer, example, and teaching support us on the path of life ».
In this sense, Francis said, “today, Joseph protects the Church – he continues to protect the Child and his mother,” said Francis. «Joseph, with his life, seems to want to tell us that we are always called to feel we are guardians of our brothers, guardians of those who are close to us, of those who the Lord entrusts to us through so many circumstances of life. A company like ours, which has been defined as “liquid”, because it seems to have no consistency. I – continued the Argentine Pontiff in reference to the well-known Polish philosopher Zygmunt Bauman – will correct the philosopher who coined this definition and say: more than liquid, gaseous, a properly gaseous society. This liquid, gaseous society finds in the story of Joseph a very precise indication of the importance of human bonds. In fact, the Gospel tells us about the genealogy of Jesus, as well as for a theological reason, to remind each of us that our life is made up of bonds that precede and accompany us “.
Hence the prayer with which Francis wished to conclude the catechesis: «Saint Joseph, you who have kept the bond with Mary and with Jesus, help us to take care of relationships in our life. Nobody experiences that sense of abandonment that comes from loneliness. Let everyone be reconciled with their own history, with those who preceded them, and also recognize in the mistakes made a way through which Providence has made its way, and evil has not had the last word. Show yourself a friend for those who struggle more, and as you have supported Mary and Jesus in difficult moments, so support us too on our journey ».
Due to the high influx, before the audience in the Paul VI hall, the Pope welcomed a group of faithful in St. Peter’s Basilica. Among others, Francis greeted the Vincentian Family which promoted the pilgrimage of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal in all Italian regions, together with the dioceses and parishes: “In these months of pandemic – he told them – your mission has brought hope , making many experience God’s mercy. I am thinking, in particular of lonely people, of the sick in hospitals, of those who live in prisons, reception centers and existential peripheries. Thank you, because you have witnessed the style of the “outgoing Church” which reaches everyone, starting with the excluded and the marginalized. Continue on this path and open yourselves ever more to the action of the Holy Spirit, who infuses the strength to boldly announce the newness of the Gospel ”.
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