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Rome Reports

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Pope Francis: The danger of the leader is to end up being “hostage” of the people

The downside about doing a catechesis in the Paul VI Audience Hall is that there are fewer people. The upside is one can be close to the pope and give him gifts such as this soccer ball... or this plaque given to him by a group of soldiers.

During his catechesis, Pope Francis reflected on how Jesus, after performing great miracles, did not lose sight of his mission. He did not let himself be carried away by fame and success.

“Leaders are in danger of surrounding themselves with people too much and not putting some distance. Jesus realizes this and does not end up being a 'hostage' of the people.”

The pope recalled that after performing great miracles, Christ seeks the solitude of prayer. His way of praying deeply impressed His disciples, who asked Him to teach it to them.

“They saw Jesus praying and they wanted to learn how to do this. 'Lord, teach us to pray.' The first step to prayer is to be humble. Go to the Father and say, 'Father...' Go to the Our Lady: 'Look at me, I am a sinner, I am weak, I am evil.' Each one knows what to say, but one always begins with humility. The Lord listens to us. Humble prayer is heard by the Lord.”

The pope said that this could be a good goal for Advent: to learn to pray. He said praying for many years does not necessarily mean one does it well.

There was no lack of music in the general audience. This time it was the Croatian pilgrims who sang loudly after the pope's greeting.