It doesn’t matter what denomination you are, the Pope delivered a powerful message this week on the importance of safeguarding life. If you’re Christian (and even if you’re not), this is something everyone needs to hear.
This week, Pope Francis gave his weekly audience in the Paul VI hall at the Vatican on Feb. 16, 2022, American Magazine reported.
Francis delivered a profound message of safeguarding others that the religious and non-religious alike can take something from.
The Pope used the analogy of the story of Joseph and Mary and the birth and upbringing of Jesus Christ. His message focused on the theme of safeguarding all life and the Christian church.
The Pope focused on the figure of Joseph and how God gave him the task of protecting Jesus and Mary.
In the book of Matthew, chapter 1, the Bible tells how an angel of the Lord (Matthew 1:20) visited Joseph in a dream and explained Mary’s virgin pregnancy and the forthcoming birth of Jesus.
“When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.”
– Matthew 1:24-25
The Pope explained that Joseph took on being a protector for Jesus and Mary, doing what was necessary to help them survive. Joseph’s actions serve as an example of our need to safeguard our own life and safeguard the lives of others and the life of the church.
“To be a Christian is not only to receive the faith, to confess the faith, but to safeguard life, one’s own life, the life of others, the life of the Church.”
– Pope Francis
During his address, Pope Francis elaborated on the role of a Christian, using the actions of Joseph in caring for Mary and Jesus.
“The Christian—we could say—is like St. Joseph: He must safeguard,” the Pope said. “To be a Christian is not only to receive the faith, to confess the faith, but to safeguard life, one’s own life, the life of others, the life of the Church.”
“And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.'”
– Matthew 25:40
In his address, Francis quoted from the above verse that comes from Jesus’ parable of the sheep and the goats, making a point of Jesus’ message that, in essence, how we treat others, our love or lack thereof, is a mirror reflection on our love or lack thereof for Jesus.
Further, the above verse tells us that for all the afflicted who have fellowship with Christ, Jesus has made their sorrows and sufferings his own.
Jesus delivered a similar message earlier in Matthew.
“And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is My disciple, truly I tell you, he will never lose his reward.”
– Matthew 10:42
“Therefore, every person who is hungry and thirsty, every stranger, every migrant, every person without clothes, every sick person, every prisoner is the “Child” whom Joseph looks after,” the Pope said. “And we are invited to safeguard these people, these our brothers and sisters, as Joseph did. That is why he is invoked as the protector of all the needy, the exiled, the afflicted, and even the dying.”
“And we too must learn from Joseph to “safeguard” these goods,” Francis added. “We must safeguard, because with this we safeguard Jesus, as Joseph did.”
To read the full text of Pope Francis’ compelling remarks, visit American Magazine.