VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The world is in need of true disciples of Christ who are prophets of hope to the poor and the downtrodden, Pope Francis said.
All men and women, especially those who are suffering, can gain hope by encountering “people who are courageous and persevering in responding to the Christian vocation,” the pope said before reciting the Angelus Feb. 3 with people gathered in St. Peter’s Square.
The world needs “people who follow the ‘push’ of the Holy Spirit, who sends them to proclaim hope and salvation to the poor and excluded; people who follow the logic of faith and not of miracles; people dedicated to the service of all, without privileges and exclusions,” he said.
The pope reflected on the Gospel reading from St. Luke, in which Jesus is driven out of the synagogue by his countrymen after telling them that the word has been fulfilled in him.
“Amen, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own native place,” Jesus said.
While those gathered in the synagogue are incredulous of his mission and divinity, the pope explained, Jesus “does not want and cannot accept this logic because it does not correspond to God’s plan.”
“God wants faith, they want miracles, signs,” Pope Francis said. “God wants to save everyone, and they want a Messiah to their advantage.”
The pope said the aggression toward Jesus by his fellow Nazarenes foreshadowed his public ministry where “he must face fatigue, rejection, persecution and defeat,” which is a price that “authentic prophecy is called to pay.”
Nevertheless, he added, Jesus’ persistence in fulfilling his mission is an example and a calling for all Christians to trust in God.
“The hard rejection does not discourage Jesus, nor does it stop the journey and the fruitfulness of his prophetic action. He goes on his way, trusting in the love of the Father,” the pope said.
Before leading pilgrims in reciting the Angelus prayer, the pope urged them to pray so that “we may grow and walk with the same apostolic zeal for the kingdom of God that animated Jesus’ mission.”
The world, Pope Francis said, needs “people who are open to accepting the will of the father in themselves and commit themselves to giving witness to it faithfully to others.”
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Prophets – they offer vision for a long, healthy and upright life. May their tribe increase.