At this Wednesday’s General Audience, Francis invited parents, faced with their children’s problems, to think about the Lord, to think about how José solved their problems and to ask José to help them. “.Never condemn a child”, added the Pope.
Mariangela Jaguraba – Vatican News
“St. Joseph, a man who dreams” was the theme of Pope Francis’ catechesis at the General Audience, this Wednesday (26/01), held in the Paul VI Room.
The Pope explained that “in the Bible, as in the cultures of ancient peoples, dreams were considered a means by which God revealed himself. and protect, where God manifests himself and often speaks to us”.
According to the Pope, “we must say that within each one of us there is not only the voice of God: there are many other voices. For example, the voices of our fears, past experiences, of hopes; and there is also the voice of the evil one that wants to deceive and confuse us. Therefore, it is important to be able to recognize the voice of God in the midst of other voices. Joseph demonstrates that he knows how to cultivate the necessary silence and make the right decisions in the face of the Word that the Lord addresses to him interiorly”.
Prayer gives birth to in us the intuition of the way out
To understand how to place ourselves in the face of God’s revelation, the Pope took up four dreams reported in the Gospel that have Joseph as the protagonist.
In the first dream, the angel helps Joseph to resolve the drama that afflicts him when he learns of Mary’s pregnancy, when the angel appeared to him in a dream and told him not to be afraid to take Mary as his wife. Joseph’s answer was immediate, for when he woke up he did as the Angel of the Lord had commanded.
Life often puts us in situations that we don’t understand and seem hopeless. Praying at these times means letting the Lord show us the right thing to do. In fact, it is often prayer that gives birth to the intuition of the way out. How to resolve that situation. Dear brothers and sisters, the Lord never allows a problem without also giving us the help we need to face it. He doesn’t throw us there in the oven alone. He does not throw us into the midst of wild animals. No. When the Lord makes us see a problem or reveals a problem, he always gives us his help, his presence to go out, to solve it.
Joseph’s courage to face difficulties
Joseph’s second revelatory dream occurs when the baby Jesus’ life is in danger. He took the baby Jesus and his mother and they fled to Egypt and stayed there until Herod’s death.
In life we experience dangers that threaten our existence or that of those we love. In these situations, praying means listening to the voice that can give birth to Joseph’s courage in us to face difficulties without succumbing.
Fear also needs our prayer
In Egypt, Joseph waits for the sign from God to be able to return home. This is the content of the third dream. The angel reveals to him that those who wanted to kill the boy have died and orders Joseph to leave with Mary and Jesus and return to his homeland. But on the return journey, “when he learned that Archelaus was reigning in Judea, as successor to his father Herod, he was afraid to go there.” After receiving warning in a dream, Joseph left for the region of Galilee and went to live in a city called Nazareth. This is the fourth revelation.
Fear is also a part of life and it also needs our prayer. God does not promise us that we will no longer be afraid, but that, with his help, fear will not be the criterion of our decisions. Joseph experiences fear, but God also guides him through fear. The power of prayer illuminates dark situations.
Parents facing their children’s problems
Then the Pope recalled “the many people who are crushed by the weight of life and can no longer wait or pray. May Saint Joseph help them to open themselves to dialogue with God, to find light, strength and peace”.
Francis also recalled “parents in the face of their children’s problems. Sick children, with permanent illnesses. How much pain there! Parents who see different sexual orientations in their children, how to deal with it and accompany their children and not hide in condemning behavior. who see their children die because of a disease, and the saddest thing, we see every day in the newspapers, young people who make mischief and die in car accidents. Parents who see their children not continuing in school, many problems for parents. Let’s think about how to help them. To these parents I say not to be surprised. There is a lot of pain, a lot, but think about the Lord, think about how Joseph solved the problems and ask Joseph to help them. Never condemn a son”.
The Pope recalled mothers who visit their children in prisons. A mother in front of a child who has made a mistake and is in prison, but does not leave him alone, shows up and accompanies him. This courage of a father and mother who always accompany the child.
Prayer is not an abstract or intimate gesture
The Pope concluded, saying that “prayer is never an abstract or intimate gesture, as these spiritualist movements, more Gnostic than Christian, want to do, it is not that. Prayer is always indissolubly linked to charity. Only when we unite love with prayer, love for our son and our neighbour, we were able to understand the Lord’s messages. Joseph prayed, worked and loved, and that is why he always received what was necessary to face the trials of life. Let us entrust ourselves to him and to his intercession”.
Call for peace in Ukraine
At the end of the General Audience, the Pope invited people to pray for peace in Ukraine, and to do so many times during this day:
Let us ask the Lord with insistence that that land may see fraternity flourish and overcome wounds, fears and divisions. May the prayers and supplications, which today rise to Heaven, touch the minds and hearts of those responsible on earth, so that dialogue prevails, and the good of all is placed above the interests of parties. Let us pray for peace with the Our Father: it is the prayer of children who address the same Father, it is the prayer that makes us brothers, it is the prayer of brothers who implore reconciliation and concord.