Pope Francis urges faithful to ignite ‘little lights in people’s hearts’

Pope Francis urged Christians to offer hope and be an inspiration to others in the midst of “moments of darkness.”

In his Angelus address on Feb. 28, Pope Francis urged Christians to turn the experience of prayer into a desire to carry hope to the world.

“We are called to experience the encounter with Christ so that, enlightened by his light, we might take it and make it shine everywhere,” said the pontiff.

“Igniting little lights in people’s hearts; being little lamps of the Gospel that bear a bit of love and hope: this is the mission of a Christian,” the pope said in his weekly address.

Pope Francis reflect on the day’s reading about the Transfiguration.

He spoke of how the disciples might have thought when Jesus said that He would be condemned to death but would rise again.

“The image of a strong and triumphant Messiah is put into crisis, their dreams are shattered, and they are beset by anguish at the thought that the Teacher in whom they believed should be killed like the worst of wrongdoers,” said the pope.

But he said that despite all these concerns, the disciples followed Jesus up the mountain, where He is transfigured before them.

“His face radiant and his garments glistening, providing a preview of his image as the Risen One, offer to those frightened men the light to pass through the shadows,” said Pope Francis.

He pointed out the reaction of St. Peter who said “Rabbi, it is good that we are here!”

The pope said St. Peter’s expression of appreciation is a reminder that the Lord never lets darkness have the final word.

Pope Francis reminded the faithful that when faced with seemingly-endless trials, the light of faith should “helps us to move beyond our frame of mind and the criteria of this world.”

The pontiff warned against what he described as “spiritual laziness.”

He said spiritual laziness pushes people to rest in the satisfaction of their own well-being, while ignoring the struggles faced by others.

“We cannot remain on the mountain and enjoy the beauty of this encounter by ourselves,” he said. “Jesus himself brings us back to the valley, amidst our brothers and sisters and into daily life.”

“Going up the mountain does not mean forgetting reality; praying never means avoiding the difficulties of life,” he said.

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