Rather than hide behind a facade of faithfulness, Christians should be sincere with God even when telling him “no,” Pope Francis said.
Speaking to some 20,000 visitors gathered in St. Peter’s Square on 1st October, the pope reflected on the day’s Gospel reading from St. Matthew in which Jesus tells the parable about two sons who, when asked by their father to work in the vineyard, one replies “no” but goes to the vineyard, while the other says “yes” but does not go.
The problem in the parable, Pope Francis said, does not consist in the two sons’ resistance to the difficult task of working in the vineyard, but in “their sincerity, or lack thereof, with their father and with themselves.” The pope urged people to reflect on their willingness to say “yes” to God, and to ask themselves, when they fail to do so: “Am I sincere before God about my difficulties, my failings, my weaknesses?”
He also noted that the month of October is dedicated to the rosary and missions, and asked Christians to pray for Ukraine and “all lands wounded by war,” the evangelisation of peoples and the assembly of the Synod of Bishops, which is scheduled to open on 4th October.
Picture: Pope Francis greets visitors gathered in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican to pray the Angelus on 1st October 2023. (CNS photo/Vatican Media)