By Linda Bordoni
Pope Francis described the low employment rates that mark the current situation across the world as a “global tragedy”.
Addressing the faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square for the General Audience on May 1st, International Labour Day, at the conclusion of the catechesis the Pope asked the patron saint of workers, St. Joseph, to intercede for those who have lost their jobs or are unable to find work.
But first he continued the cycle of catecheses he has dedicated to the “Our Father” in the past weeks. In particular, he reflected on the prayer’s penultimate invocation: “Lead us not into temptation”.
He briefly recalled an ongoing discussion and proposal regarding a possible change in translation in which that invocation could become “abandon us not when in temptation”.
Explaining that “It is with this penultimate invocation that our dialogue with our heavenly Father enters, so to speak, in the midst of the drama of the battle between our freedom and the snares of the evil one” the Pope noted that it is not easy to accurately capture the exact meaning of the original Greek version of the prayer, and that “all modern translations are a little lame”.
However, he said, we can certainly all agree on the fact that God does not seek to put temptations in our way.
A father never sets traps for his children
“Let’s not forget, a father does not set traps for his children”. he said.
He noted that tribulation amd temptation are mysteriously present even in the life of Jesus and said that “this experience of the Son of God makes him completely our brother”.
The Pope said that there are so many Gospel passages that show us that God never leaves his son alone and he cited the episodes in the desert and in the garden of Gethsemane in which Jesus overcomes many temptations to abandon the Father’s will.
A father does not abandon his children
And the same goes for us: “He is with us when he gives us life, during our lives, in moments of joy and of trouble, he is with us in sadness and in defeat, when we sin. He is always with us because a Father cannot abandon us”, the Pope said.
He also reflected on the fact that not only God is not the author of evil, but when evil appears in the life of one of his children, He fights at his side so that he may be freed from it.
He is a Father, Pope Francis continued “who always fights for us, and not against us”.
In this sense, he concluded, we pray to our Father “lead us from times of temptation”, but when this time comes, he said “show us we are not alone, show us that Christ has already taken upon himself the weight of our cross, show us that Christ is calling on us to carry it with him, and help us to abandon ourselves to Your fatherly love”.