By Linda Bordoni
Pope Francis on Sunday took his cue from the Feast of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist and from the Gospel reading of the day to reflect on how parents, when generating a child “act as co-workers of God”.
To the crowds of pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square for the Sunday Angelus, the Pope said that in “every human person there is the imprint of God, the source of life” and he described the role of parents in “generating a child” as a “truly sublime mission that makes each family a sanctuary of life”.
The work of God is beyond our logic
After having reflected on the Gospel of Luke that tells of the birth of John the Baptist to his elderly parents, Elizabeth and Zechariah, the Pope pointed out that “God does not depend on our logic and our limited human capacity.”
“It is necessary, he said, to learn to trust and remain silent before the mystery of God and to contemplate in humility and silence his work, which reveals itself in history and which often surpasses our imagination”.
Awe, surprise, gratitude
Francis spoke at length of the sentiments of wonder and joy with which John’s parents, neighbours and relatives received the birth of the baby.
“Awe, surprise and gratitude” he said, were the sentiments surrounding the birth of John the Baptist, and he pointed out that the faithful “immediately understood that something great – although humble and private – had taken place”, and they asked themselves: “What, then, will this child be?”.
Inviting those present to look to their own faith and ask themselves “is it joyful and full of wonder and gratitude?” or is “flat and always the same?” – Pope Francis urged believers to open their hearts to God and feel the grace of the Lord moving within them.
Family sanctuary of life
Parents, he concluded, “are collaborators of God” when they generate life, and this “sublime mission makes each family a sanctuary of life” where “the birth of every child reawakens the joy, the wonder, the gratitude”.