Catholic World News

‘We have opted for Jesus and not for the devil,’ Pope preaches in Ecatepec

February 15, 2016

On February 14, Pope Francis traveled by helicopter from Mexico City to Ecatepec, a nearby city of 1.7 million.

Preaching at an outdoor Mass, Pope Francis said that Lent is a time to rediscover the importance of our baptism and to “recover the joy and hope that make us feel beloved sons and daughters of the Father”:

Our Father, he is the Father of a great family; he is our Father. He knows that he has a unique love, but he does not know how to bear or raise an “only child.” He is the God of the home, of brotherhood, of bread broken and shared. He is the God who is “Our Father,” not “my father” or “your stepfather.”

The devil, he continued, “tries to separate us, making a divided and confrontational family; a society which is divided and at loggerheads, a society of the few, and for the few.” His three temptations are “seizing hold of goods destined for all,” vanity, and “the worst,” pride.

“We have opted for Jesus and not for the devil; we want to follow in Jesus’ footsteps, even though we know that this is not easy,” the Pope added. “We know what it means to be seduced by money, fame and power. For this reason, the Church gives us the gift of this Lenten season, invites us to conversion, offering but one certainty: he is waiting for us and wants to heal our hearts of all that tears us down. He is the God who has a name: Mercy.”

In his Angelus address, Pope Francis reflected on the first reading at Mass, in which “Moses invites his people to remember by enumerating the difficult situations through which it has passed.”

“Today, at the invitation of Moses, as a people we want to remember, we want to be the people that keeps alive the memory of God who passes among his People, in their midst,” he said, and added:

I invite you today to be on the front line, to be first in all the initiatives which help make this blessed land of Mexico a land of opportunities, where there will be no need to emigrate in order to dream, no need to be exploited in order to work, no need to make the despair and poverty of many the opportunism of a few, a land that will not have to mourn men and women, young people and children who are destroyed at the hands of the dealers of death.

Upon his return to Mexico City, Pope Francis visited a children’s hospital. In his encounter with the infant Jesus in the temple, Simeon, he said, teaches us the importance of giving thanks and blessing.

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