“Today there is a need for people who are witnesses of the mercy and tenderness of the Lord, which shakes up those who are resigned, revives the discouraged, [and] ignites the fire of hope.”
In his address, the Holy Father reflected on the first reading of Sunday’s liturgy from the prophet Isaiah. “Comfort, give comfort to my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her service is at an end, her guilt is expiated,” the reading states.
The Pope said that with these words, a time of consolation has come where the Lord “will guide his people on the path of freedom and salvation.”
“In what way will He do this?” he asked. “With the care and tenderness of a shepherd who takes care of His flock. He will give unity and security to the flock, they will graze, the scattered sheep will be gathered safely, He will pay special attention to the most fragile and weak.”
“So many situations require our consoling witness. To be joyful people, consoled,” the Holy Father said. “I think of those who are oppressed by suffering, injustice and abuses; those who are enslaved by money, power, success, worldliness. Poor things, they have a false consolation, they do not have the true consolation of the Lord!”
The 77 year old Pontiff lamented that many times, people are afraid of being consoled, preferring to feel “safer in sadness and desolation” since mankind feels like the protagonist.
“In consolation, the Holy Spirit is the protagonist!” he exclaimed. “It is He who consoles us, it is He who gives us the courage to come out of ourselves. It is He who brings us to the source of every true consolation, that is, the Father. And this is conversion.”