After an al-Qaida-linked terrorist strike in Somalia, Pope Francis prayed on Sunday for God to “change the hearts of the aggressive.”
We pray for the victims of the terrorist assault in Mogadishu that left more than 100 people dead, many of them children, as we commemorate Christ’s triumph over sin, death, and the grave. Pope Francis prayed for God to change the violent people’s hearts on October 30.
According to Somalia’s president, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, two vehicle bombs that occurred in the nation’s capital on Saturday resulted in at least 100 fatalities and close to 300 injuries.
According to the Associated Press, the incident was claimed by al-Shabab, an al-Qaida affiliate with a stronghold in Somalia. As a “enemy” “dedicated to remove Somali youngsters from the Islamic religion,” the extremist organization said that it had attacked the country’s education ministry.
The pope prayed for the victims of a crowd surge at a large Halloween party in South Korea that left at least 151 people dead in his closing Angelus session, according to Reuters.
The pope continued, “And let us also pray to the Risen Lord for those, largely young people, who perished last night in Seoul as a terrible result of an unexpected crowd surge.
Pope Francis informed the pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square during his meditation on Sunday’s Gospel that even in our darkest hours, “Jesus constantly looks at us with love.”
The pope said that although “God’s gaze never stops at our past filled with faults, it looks with great confidence at what we might become.”
The pope said that in the Gospel of Luke, Jesus turned to gaze up and saw Zacchaeus in the sycamore tree.
In contrast, he continued, he descended himself to the point of washing our feet, gazing at us from below and giving us back our dignity. “This is the history of redemption,” he said. “God has never looked down on us to condemn and humiliate us.
“In this manner, the meeting of Zacchaeus and Jesus’ gaze appears to sum up the whole narrative of salvation: mankind, with its sufferings, seeks redemption, but first, God, out of love, seeks his creation to redeem it.”
Pope Francis urged all Christians to look at people with compassion and with the “eyes of Christ, who embraces from below.”
The beatification of Blessed Maria Berenice Duque Hencker (1898-1993) took place on October 29 in Medelln, Colombia, to much acclaim from the pope. He said that the Tiny Sisters of the Annunciation’s founder “served God and her brothers and sisters, particularly the little ones and the excluded” throughout her life.
Pope Francis prayed that “everyone would be strengthened by her apostolic zeal, which led her to transmit the message of Jesus beyond the frontiers of her nation, to contribute, through prayer and charity, in spreading the Gospel across the globe.”