Jannah Theme License is not validated, Go to the theme options page to validate the license, You need a single license for each domain name.

Jesus is the answer to human desire, Pope says at Mass in Mongolia

OULAN-BAATAR, Mongolia (CNS) — Like the earth struck by a ‘zud,’ the human heart has a thirst and a yearning that can only be quenched by the God of love, Pope Francis has told Mongols gathered to the mass in the arena of the steppes of Ulaanbaatar.

Countless generations of Mongols have feared the “zud”, an extreme weather phenomenon of drought or impenetrable ice, which decimates herds.

In his homily during Mass on September 3, Pope Francis highlighted the day’s response to Psalm 63: “My soul thirsts for you, Lord my God. »

“We are this arid land thirsty for fresh water, water that can quench our deepest thirst,” the pope said. “Our hearts yearn to discover the secret of true joy, a joy which, even in the midst of existential aridity, can accompany and sustain us. »

Every person craves happiness, direction and meaning in life, he said. But “more than anything, we thirst for love, because only love can truly satisfy us, fulfill us, inspire us with inner confidence and allow us to savor the beauty of life”.

“Dear brothers and sisters, he declared in front of some 2,000 people present in the arena, the Christian faith is the answer to this thirst; he takes it seriously, without rejecting it or trying to replace it with tranquilizers or substitutes.

The Mongolian Catholic community numbers only about 1,450 people, but hundreds of Catholics from all over Central Asia traveled to Ulaanbaatar for the papal mass. While the Chinese government refused to allow any Catholic bishop or priest from the mainland to attend, small groups of lay Catholics managed to cross the border to see the Pope and official Church delegations arrived from Hong Kong. and Macau.

Driving around the perimeter of the small bullring in a golf cart, Pope Francis stopped and greeted a group waving a large Chinese flag.

Bishops and pilgrims also came from South Korea and Vietnam, including a dance troupe that performed for the crowd gathered hours before Mass. When the pope arrived, the Vietnamese dancers rushed to the crowd barriers, waving their conical straw nón lá hats.

Sisters of Saint Charles Borromeo Iustyna Gurevich and Elena Sachenko said they spent two days driving to Ulaanbaatar with 20 pilgrims from Irkutsk, Krasnoyarsk and Khabarovsk, Russia, for the papal mass.

Among the prayers of the faithful at Mass, there was one in Russian and another in Chinese.

The prayer in Russian was addressed to government leaders for “wisdom from heaven to teach them to care for the common good, overcome conflict, work for peace among peoples and safeguard our common home.”

The prayer in Chinese was addressed to those who suffer so that God, “who abandons nothing he has created, consoles them in their time of trial and prepares us to render fraternal service”.

Kim Viet Ngo, a Vietnamese-American Catholic from Washington, DC, said the Mass was an opportunity to see and pray with Pope Francis up close — closer than she ever would have at the Vatican.

“As a Catholic, I believe the pope can change the world, including Vietnam,” she said. For decades, the Vatican and Vietnam’s communist government have been making slow progress toward normalizing relations and reaching agreements on the appointment of bishops.

Although small makeshift confessionals were set up outside the arena where the missionaries offered the sacrament before the liturgy began, not everyone who came to mass was Catholic. In fact, a group of Buddhist monks dressed in saffron robes sat on the arena floor in a place of honor.

Pope Francis led Mass prayers in English, which he rarely does.

But he preached in Italian, telling the small crowd that “the heart of the Christian faith” is that “God, who is love, has drawn near to you in his Son Jesus and wants to share your life, your work, your your dreams and your thirst for happiness.

Even when one feels like “a barren and arid land where there is no water”, as the Psalm says, it is still true that “God takes care of us and offers us clear and refreshing water, the living water of the Spirit which springs up”. within us to renew ourselves and free us from the risk of drought. Jesus gives us this water.

Pope Francis told the small Catholic flock in Mongolia not to be deceived into thinking that “success, power or material things are enough to quench the thirst of our lives”, because that is what the world is trying to make people believe.

But “this kind of worldliness leads nowhere; in fact, it makes us even more thirsty than before,” he said.

“At the heart of Christianity is an amazing and extraordinary message,” the pope said. “If you lose your life, if you give it generously, if you risk it by choosing to love, if you give it freely to others, then it will come back to you in abundance and you will be overwhelmed with joys, peace of heart, inner strength and support.

Also see

Copyright © 2023 Catholic News Service/American Conference of Catholic Bishops


Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.

Back to top button