The first General Audience of 2019 was full of initial greetings, gifts and hugs for Pope Francis.
Naturally, some pilgrims also offered him mate.
It was cold in the Eternal City, and for that reason, the General Audience took place once again in the Paul VI Audience Hall.
Pope Francis resumed his catechesis series on the Our Father. He explained that Christ gave the disciples this prayer, along with the Beatitudes, as teachings that represent an authentic revolution.
'This is the revolution of the Gospel. Where the Gospel is, there is revolution. It is as if Jesus said, 'Continue on, you who carry in your heart the mystery of a God, who has revealed His omnipotence in love and in forgiveness!''
The pope said that love thus becomes an unlimited love for all, also for sinners. Therefore, Francis invited people to pray to God as if they were talking to a father, instead of praying like 'parrots.'
'The pagans think that by speaking, speaking, speaking and speaking they are praying. I also think of many Christians who pray, forgive me, speaking to God as if they were a parrot. No, praying is done from the heart, from within.'
God precisely gave the Our Father and the Beatitudes to the simplest, not to the arrogant who pray for people to see them. That is why the pope began this reflection.
'How many times do we see the scandal of those people who go to church, and are there all day or go every day, and then they live hating others or talking badly about people. This is a scandal. It is better not to go to Church if you live like that, like an atheist. But if you go to Church, live like a child, like a sibling, and give a true testimony, not a false testimony.'
At the end of this first audience of the year the pope was expecting a very special surprise: this Cuban circus. They delighted all the pilgrims with these acrobatics and even invited Pope Francis to participate in the performance.
The pope thanked them for bringing this form of art to the Vatican, which is a beauty capable of even leading people to God.