Pilgrims from around the world gathered in St. Peter’s Square this Sunday morning for the recitation of the Angelus prayer led by Pope Benedict XVI.
Pope Benedict XVI prayed for the victims of recent flooding in Thailand and Italy. The Holy Father began his remarks to the faithful following the Angelus prayer this Sunday in St Peter’s Square by recalling the devastation in both countries. “Dear brothers and sisters,” he said, “I express my closeness to the people of Thailand hit by serious flooding, as well as in Italy, to those of Liguria and Tuscany, recently damaged by the consequences of heavy rains.”
Thailand’s worst flooding in half a century has claimed nearly 400 lives over the last three months, while in Italy, floods and mudslides last week devastated coastal areas of Liguria and Tuscany and killed nine people. The Holy Father assured all those affected of his continuing prayers.
Before the Angelus, Pope Benedict reflected on the Sunday Mass readings, which spoke of the figure of the true teacher, recalling that the one true teacher is Jesus, Himself.
In the Gospel of today’s liturgy, Christ urges us to combine humility with our charitable service towards our brothers and sisters. Indeed, may we always imitate his perfect example of service in our daily lives.
The Pope noted Jesus condemnation of those who preach the good, and then act in opposition to it – those who would require the consciences of others to bear heavy and difficult burdens, while refusing to bear those same themselves. “Sound doctrine,” warned Pope Benedict, “may well be made incredible by unbecoming conduct.” In conclusion, the Holy Father prayed that all those who, in the Christian community, are called to the ministry of teaching, “might in their conduct always bear witness to the truths they convey with their words”.