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Persecution of Christians, a prelude to the final victory of Jesus: Pope

Vatican City, 28 Nov 2013: There are ‘worldly powers’ which would like to have religion was a ‘private matter’. But Christians who are being persecuted today, are a sign of the test as a prelude to the final victory of Jesus, said Pope Francis on Thursday morning during Mass he celebrated at Casa Santa Martha in the Vatican.

In the final struggle between God and Evil, which the year-end liturgy offers these days, there is a great danger that Pope Francis called ‘the universal temptation’ – ‘the temptation to give in to the lure of those who want to defeat God. It is the story of Jesus, with the trials he endured in the desert and then the many trials in his public life, seasoned with ‘insults’ and ‘slander’, ending with the extreme affront on the Cross. However, the prince of the world loses his battle before the resurrection of the Prince of Peace.

"When Jesus speaks of the calamity, he refers to the profanation of the temple, a desecration of the faith of the people. Here is the heart of the "final test" : the desecration of faith, said the Pope. Reflecting on the suffering of prophet Daniel mentioned in the first reading of the day, the Pope said, he was thrown to the lions for worshiping God rather than the king. It means ‘the prohibition of worship’.

"You cannot talk about religion, it's a private thing. Do not talk about it publicly. The religious symbols are removed. You must obey the orders coming from the worldly powers. You can do many things, beautiful things, but do not worship God. This is the center of this end. The Christians who suffer persecution today are a sign of the test as a prelude to the final victory of Jesus Christ.
"We are not afraid. He only asks us to faithfulness and patient. Loyalty like Daniel, who was faithful to his God and worshiped Him until the end. And patience, because the Lord has promised that even the hair of our head will not fall. Worship until the end, with the trust and loyalty : this is the grace that we ask this week, concluded Pope Francis.
Source: VR Sedoc


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