Pope Francis: To stay with Jesus requires the courage to leave our sins


Pope Francis delivers the Angelus address on Jan. 22, 2023. / Vatican Media. See CNA article for full slideshow. 

Vatican City, Jan 22, 2023 / 07:00 am (CNA).

In his Sunday Angelus address, Pope Francis said that following Jesus requires the courage to leave behind the sins that are holding us back.

Speaking from the window of the Apostolic Palace on Jan. 22, the pope said that “our vices and our sins” are like “anchors that hold us at the shore and prevent us from setting sail.”

“To stay with Jesus, therefore, requires the courage to leave, to set out. To leave what? Our vices and sins,” he said.

Pope Francis added that in order to set out on the “new adventure” of following Christ it is right to start by asking forgiveness, as well as leaving behind “what holds us back from living fully.”

“It also means giving up the time wasted on so many useless things,” he said.

The pope pointed to the example of someone who chooses to spend time in prayer or serving others, instead of wasting time.

“I am also thinking of a young family who leaves behind a quiet life to open themselves up to the unforeseen and beautiful adventure of motherhood and fatherhood – it is a sacrifice, but all it takes is one look at a child to understand that it was the right choice to leave behind certain rhythms and comforts, to have this joy,” Francis said.

Pope Francis asked people to reflect on what Jesus may be asking them to give up and leave behind in order to “say ‘yes’ to Him,’” like the first disciples who left their nets on the shore of the Sea of Galilee to follow Christ.

“May Mary help us to respond with a total ‘yes’ to God, like she did, to know what to leave behind to follow him better,” he said.

After praying the Angelus, Pope Francis asked people to pray for peace in Myanmar, Peru, Cameroon, and Ukraine.

The pope expressed his closeness to the civilian population in Myanmar, who have suffered “severe trials” since the military coup began in 2021.

“My thoughts, with pain, go in particular to Myanmar, where the church of Our Lady of the Assumption in the village of Chan Thar, one of the oldest and most important places of worship in the country, was set on fire and destroyed,” he said.

The pope asked the crowd to pray a “Hail Mary” together to Our Lady of Myanmar asking that the conflict will end soon and that “a new time of forgiveness, love, and peace will begin.”

Pope Francis also said that he was joining the Peruvian bishops’ call for an end to acts of violence in the South American country.

“Violence extinguishes hope for a just solution to problems. I encourage all parties involved to take the path of dialogue between brothers of the same nation, with full respect for human rights and the rule of law,” he said.

The pope expressed hope that progress is being made toward a resolution of the conflict in English-speaking regions of Cameroon.

“I encourage all the signatory parties to the Agreement to persevere on the path of dialogue and mutual understanding because the future can be planned only in encounter,” the pope said.

Pope Francis also wished a “happy new year” to all who celebrate the Lunar New Year in East Asia and other parts of the world, adding that he was thinking of “all those who are still going through moments of trial caused by the coronavirus pandemic.”

The pope reminded everyone that the third Sunday of Ordinary Time is dedicated in a special way to the Word of God.

Before the Angelus, Pope Francis formally conferred the ministries of lector and catechist upon four men and six women at a Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica celebrating the Sunday of the Word of God.

“Let’s rediscover with amazement the fact that God speaks to us, especially through the Holy Scriptures. Let’s read them, study them, meditate on them, and pray with them. Every day we should read a passage from the Bible, especially from the Gospel. There Jesus speaks to us, enlightens us, guides us,” the pope said.

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  1. A good sermon from the papal balcony on peace in a torn world. Although, no word on a far greater conflict, the enormous worldwide war against human life in the womb. The casualties astronomical. Catholics, those who pretend to be Catholics actually purveyors of the slaughter offered full courtesy, the Holy Eucharist at the Vatican.
    How can this be on ground that that has defended the truth since Peter and Paul were martyred in Rome, their blood a witness to Christ sanctifying that very ground. The world, the Catholic Church must hear from you, your Holiness, a fierce condemnation, an appeal to the heart to desist from this terrible mass murder of innocents created in God’s own image. Why the hesitation? Why the awful silence?
    Then there’s there’s the ambiguity, the anomaly of Church prohibition of homosexual behavior, always understood, always throughout sacred scripture censured as a grave perversion of the natural order – yet now being reassessed during the Synod on Synodality, a Synod which you invoked, and to which you appointed Card Hollerich SJ the primary director as Relator, a man who openly approves of Church revision, of actual repudiation of its doctrine on homosexuality. How can this be? What are laity, clergy to think?
    Our Church needs your strong, faithful, censure of these crimes against humanity. Yes, a just global distribution of goods is important, ecology is important, wars should cease. Although Christ came into the world to save Man from his sins, beginning with those that proportionately far exceed social justice and ecology. Sins that directly affect his salvation, sins that are clearly and definitively grave offenses to His Divine Majesty.

    • Politician that he is, he just reads what is written for him to make him sound orthodox from time to time, to convince the unconvinced that he’s not really heterodox. There is no evidence that he has ever thought about a social ethos with any level of seriousness or coherence.

    • Hello Fr. Peter, Good post!

      Jesus never condemned Caesar on his wars, crucifixions or even Herod’s slaughter of innocent children. To do so would have ended in the same result Pope Pius XII would have suffered, had he publicly protested (dialogue) Hitler and Mussolini.

      WWII took the lives of 73 million people. Abortion has murdered 1 to 2 billion people. Like Popes commanding Swiss Guards to kill to protect himself, obedient to Jesus soldiers, on either side, do not commit murder unless war crimes were committed.

      In the Second Secret of Fatima, God offered peace to the world, rather than WWII, had popes been able to get mankind to repent of their massive, individuals sinfulness. It was the Catholic Church who, through failure to get mankind to repent, caused 73 million people to die and all the ecological harm and waste of natural resources of WWII.

      Pope Francis should use the Chair of St. Peter, to lead the Church and the world, into repentance, for the Kingdom of God is at Hand. It is those who love God, through obedience to God and repentance to obedience to God, who will be judged into Eternal Life, while “the evildoers shall rise to be damned”.

      So much more would be accomplished by Pope Francis if he would turn his leadership focus upon doing God’s Will, rather than focusing on secular social justice.

      Wisdom 14:22
      Then it was not enough for them to err in their knowledge of God; but even though they lived in a great war of ignorance, they called such evils peace. For while they celebrate either childslaying sacrifices or clandestine mysteries, or frenzied carousals in unheard of rites, They no longer safeguard either lives or pure wedlock; but each either waylays and kills his neighbor, or aggrieves him by adultery. And all is confusion– blood and murder, theft and guile, corruption, faithlessness, turmoil, perjury,…

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