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Instead of free time, look for time that frees, says Pope


Antoine Mekary | ALETEIA | I.Media

Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 10/15/23

Finding time for God is worth it, Pope Francis assures. People closed into their private worlds are sad.

The Gospel of this Sunday’s liturgy recounts Jesus’ mysterious parable about the wedding guests who turn down the king’s invitation to the wedding feast of his son.

“Why do men refuse his invitation?,” the Pope asked before praying the midday Angelus. “Was it perhaps an unpleasant invitation? No, and yet – the Gospel says – ‘they made light of it and went off, one to his farm, another to his business.’ They did not care, because they were thinking of their own affairs.”

This focus on our own affairs can cause us to miss what God wants to give us, the Pope warned.

Brothers and sisters, how many times do we fail to heed God’s invitation, because we are intent on our own affairs! Often, we struggle to have free time, but today Jesus invites us to find the time that frees: the time to dedicate to God, that lightens and heals our hearts, that increases peace, confidence and joy in us, that saves us from evil, loneliness and loss of meaning.

Find him at Mass, in prayer, in charity

Finding time for God is “worth it,” the Pope assured. “Because it is good to be with the Lord, to make space for him.

Where? In the Mass, in listening to the Word, in prayer and also in charity, because by helping those who are weak or poor, by keeping company with those who are lonely, by listening to those who ask for attention, by consoling those who suffer, one is with the Lord, who is present in those in need.”

Time with God and the little ones in which he hides himself isn’t a waste of time, Pope Francis assured. In fact, it’s the way out of sadness.

Many, however, think that these things are a ‘waste of time,’ and so they lock themselves away in their private world; and it is sad. And this generates sadness. How many sad hearts there are! For this reason — because they are closed.

Let us ask ourselves, then: How do I respond to God’s invitations? What space do I give him in my days? Does the quality of my life depend on my affairs and my free time, or on love for the Lord and for my brethren, especially those most in need? Let us ask ourselves this.

Pope FrancisScripture
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