“I will correct that philosopher who coined this definition and say, more than liquid — gaseous, a properly gaseous society,” he added. “This liquid, gaseous society finds in the story of Joseph a clear indication of the importance of human bonds.”
“Indeed, the Gospel tells us the genealogy of Jesus not only for a theological reason, but also to remind each one of us that our lives are made up of bonds that precede and accompany us,” he said. “The Son of God chose to come into the world by way of such bonds.”
Pope Francis noted that for those who struggle to find meaningful human bonds in their life, who feel alone, or lack strength or courage, St. Joseph is “an ally, a friend, and a support.”
He concluded his audience with a prayer to St. Joseph to help anyone who is feeling this way:
you who guarded the bond with Mary and Jesus,
help us to care for the relationships in our lives.
May no one experience the sense of abandonment
that comes from loneliness.
Let each of us be reconciled with our own history,
with those who have gone before,
and recognize even in the mistakes committed
a way through which Providence has made a path,
and evil did not have the last word.
Show yourself to be a friend to those who struggle the most,
and as you supported Mary and Jesus in difficult times,
support us too on our journey. Amen.”
During the pope’s greetings at the end of the catechesis, a group of pilgrims from the United States sang the Apostles’ Creed while holding a banner with the words “You are Peter and on this rock I will build my Church.” The background of the banner depicted the U.S. flag, a metal fence, and an icon of the Virgin Mary.
A group from Neocatechumenal communities in the Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey, had sung the Apostles’ Creed at the pope’s Nov. 10 audience. They held a banner that read: “Peter confirm our faith.”
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As not everyone who wished to attend the audience could fit inside the Paul VI Hall on Nov. 24, Pope Francis went first to St. Peter’s Basilica to greet three large pilgrim groups: The John Paul II Association of Bisceglie, southern Italy; members of the Vincentian Family; and the Italian Association of Victims of Violence.
He thanked the association helping victims of violence for their support for the mistreated. “With your important activity, you contribute to building a more just and solidary society,” he said.
The pope encouraged the John Paul II group to imitate the example of the Polish pope, “and strive to understand and welcome the love of God, source and reason for our true joy.”
He thanked the Italian pilgrims from the Vincentian Family for bringing hope and God’s mercy to many people during the pandemic.
“You have given testimony to the way of the ‘Church which goes out,’ which reaches everyone, starting from the excluded and marginalized,” he said. “Continue on this road and open yourselves always more to the action of the Holy Spirit, who instills the strength to boldly announce the newness of the Gospel.”
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