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Blinded by hate

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Blinded by hate

“€œLet us ask the Lord to convert the hearts of the violent
blinded by hate”€: this was the appeal for prayer that Pope Francis launched in the wake of the tragic terrorist attacks which bloodied the capital cities of Bangladesh and Iraq between Friday evening and Saturday night. At the Angelus on Sunday, 3 July, Pope Francis expressed his closeness “€œto the families of the victims and those injured in the attack that happened yesterday in Dhaka, and
also in that which happened in Baghdad”€, inviting the faithful gathered in St.Peters Square to recite a Hail Mary “€œfor the deceased”€.

Earlier, commenting on the Gospel passage of the day, Pope Francis spoke about the tenth Chapter of Luke (1-12,17-20), which makes us “€œconsider how necessary it is to invoke God, the Lord of harvest to send out laborers”€. These are missionaries, he explained, whose “€œtask is to proclaim a message of salvation”€.
Not only those “€œwho go afar”€ are called to this, but “€œwe too, [are] Christian missionaries who express a good word of salvation”€. Moreover, he added, this means “€œto bring to everyone: a message of hope and comfort, of peace and charity”€, for “€œthe Kingdom of God is built day by day and already offers on this earth its fruits of conversion, of purification, of love and of comfort
among men”€. Hence came the invitation to “€œnot destroy”€ but to “€œbuild”€, also with the knowledge “€œof the difficult and
sometimes hostile reality”€ in which the Christian lives, since “€“ the Pope noted.”€“ “€œhostility is always at the beginning of persecutions”€. Moreover, he continued, the Christian must “€œstrive to be free from human conditionings of every kind”€, which “€œmeans abandoning every motive of personal advantage, careerism or hunger for power”€. Because, ultimately, “€œthe Christians mission in the world
is splendid, it is a mission intended for everyone, it is a mission of service, excluding no one”€, which “€œrequires a great deal of generosity and above all the gaze and the heart facing upward”€. And since “€œthere is a great need of Christians who joyfully witness to the Gospel in everyday life”€, the Pope wished to express gratitude for “€œthe dedication of so many men and women who
daily proclaim the Gospel: priests “€“ those brave parish priests whom we all know “€“ nuns, consecrated women, men and women missionaries”€. In this context, Pope Francis addressed the
young people present in the Square, asking if anyone had heard “€œthe Lords call”€, and he encouraged them not to be afraid to respond affirmatively. At the end of the Marian prayer, the Pope also indicated a model to follow during the Jubilee of Mercy: the young martyr Maria Goretti, “€œwho forgave her murderer
before she died”€, and whose liturgical feast day will be on Wednesday, 6 July. “€œThis brave girl”€, the Pope said, “€œdeserves a round of applause”€.



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