Pope's Mass in Madison Square Garden: Go out and evangelize without fear or hesitation
This was the warm welcome Pope Francis received as he arrived to a packed Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Before celebrating Mass, he made his way through the crowds, blessing some of them along the way. In an emotional moment, a couple shed tears as Pope Francis blessed their ill child, as thousands looked on.
Referencing the hustle and bustle of New York City, the Pope reminded Christians that God and the Church are also present and alive amid the chaos of big cities. He asked that foreigners, the sick, poor, vulnerable, homeless and the elderly not be overlooked.
"They become part of an urban landscape which is more and more taken for granted, in our eyes, and especially in our hearts."
He then added that the Gospel describes many instances, when Jesus is asked 'Master, what should we do next? His answer, said the Pope, is to go out and evanglize, where people are, and not where one would like them to be.
"The first thing that Jesus does in response is to propose, to encourage, to motivate. He keeps telling His disciples to go, to go out.â?
The Pope continued by saying that Jesus leads by example. It's a call that Jesus Himself fulfills in the lives of others, as a Father, who waits for His children.
"Go out and proclaim, go out and show that God is in your midst as a merciful Father who Himself goes out, morning and evening, to see if his children are home and, as soon as He sees them coming, He runs out to embrace them.â?
Only Jesus said the Pope, can free one's spirit from anonymity, from a life of selfishness and emptiness that's sometimes felt even in big cities, while surrounded by people.
Throughout the Mass, the choir with people of all ages sang, echoing the melodies in Madison Square Garden.
At the end of the Mass, when Cardinal Timothy Dolan addressed the Pope, a huge applause broke out, as the crowd thanked the Pope for his visit.