In a powerful Lenten message, Pope Francis called on Christians to rejuvenate hope and take actionable steps against contemporary forms of slavery. Drawing from the Book of Exodus, he emphasized a journey from bondage to liberation.
Pope Francis highlighted the paradox of longing for the security of familiar things, despite them being detrimental to our freedom. “There remains in us an inexplicable longing for slavery,” he said, urging a move towards a path of liberation started by baptism.
The pontiff identified modern-day Pharaohs who “stifle dreams and block the view of heaven,” pointing to the various ways in which human dignity is undermined in today’s world. He stressed the need to fight a “deficit of hope,” which he believes is paralyzing progress and suppressing the silent cries that reach heaven.
Emphasizing the significance of Lent as a time for conversion and freedom, Pope Francis invited Christians to reflect on their lifestyles and societal roles. “Lent is a season of conversion, a time of freedom,” he said, advocating for a pause in prayer and presence with the wounded.
Cardinal Michael Czerny and Professor Emilia Palladino supported the Pope’s message, highlighting the need for personal and collective transformation. Palladino brought attention to alarming global inequalities, citing statistics on health services inaccessibility, child labor, and forced labor.ty.
Concluding on a note of optimism, Pope Francis called for courage in viewing the world not as dying but as birthing a new chapter.
“Faith and charity take hope, this small child, by the hand. They teach her to walk, and at the same time, she leads them forward,” he said, blessing all on their Lenten journey.
Pray with Pope Francis this Lent!
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