2014-05-19 15:45:25

Pope prays for flood victims in Balkans

May 19, 2014 - ‎Pope Francis on Sunday urged pilgrims and visitors in Rome’s St. Peter’s Square to pray for those affected by severe ‎flooding across the Balkans as floodwaters triggered more than 3,000 landslides, laying waste to entire ‎towns and villages forcing tens of thousands of people from their homes in the worst flooding in ‎more than a 100 years. ‎“As I entrust to the Lord the victims of this disaster, I express my personal ‎closeness to those in ‎tribulation,” the Pope told some 50,000 faithful after the weekly midday ‘Regina ‎Coeli’ prayer. “Let us pray together the Our Lady for these brothers and sisters, who are in many ‎difficulties,” ‎the Pope said and recited a ‘Hail Mary’ with them.‎

‎The Holy Father also recalled Saturday’s beatification of Romanian bishop Anton Durcovici, who ‎was ‎martyred for the faith under the Communist regime in 1951. “Together with the faithful of (the ‎city of) ‎Iasi and the whole of Romania, we thank God for this example!” he exclaimed.‎

Before the ‘Regina Coeli’, the Pope briefly reflected on the apostles’ method of solving problems in the Church, without exacerbating the situation by backbiting, envy and jealousy‎. He was commenting on Sunday’s reading from the Acts of the Apostles about the first tensions and disagreements emerging in the early Church, struggling to care for the growing community. The presence of ethnic differences between Hebrews and Greeks in the early Christian community led to “complaints, rumors of favoritism and unequal treatment.” This happens also in our parishes, the Pope noted. The apostles took the situation in hand, convoked a broad meeting, including the disciples, and solved the problem by seeking advice, discussing, and praying. This is how problems in the Church are resolved, convinced that gossip, envy, jealousy can never lead us to concord, harmony or peace,” Pope Francis said.
There are always problems in life, and they are never solved by pretending that they do not exist. With “frank discussion” they arrive at a “division of labor.” They decide the apostles will devote themselves to prayer and to the ministry of the Word, while seven men, deacons, will provide service at the tables for the poor. The men who were chosen as deacons were not necessarily “experts,” but were “honest men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom; and constituted in their service through the laying on of hands by the apostles.” The Pope urged all to allow the Holy Spirit to guide and lead us to harmony, to unity and respect for different gifts and talents. Therefore, “No backbiting, no envy, no jealousy! You get it?” the Pope insisted.

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