With this parable, he wanted to send a message to his discouraged disciples who asked him about the usefulness of the apostolic work he was doing. Despite all the contradictions and obstacles, his word would have given abundant fruit because it has in itself an irresistible force of life.
Evariste Ndayishimiye, a practising Catholic who is known to bring the importance of God into politics, has been sworn as the president of Burundi. The president immediately promised to unite the people, promote peace and justice in the tiny East African country where majority are Catholics. He also swore to fight genocide ideology and discrimination.
But the loving convergence of divine and human desire promoted by the Our Father is suddenly interrupted by the penultimate petition, "and lead us not into temptation". It is precisely this last aspect that has generated pastoral discomfort and has led exegetes and Church leaders – among whom we now include Pope Francis – to ask for a modification of the centuries-old formula of the liturgical prayer that would respond to sentiments now widely shared and promote a more accurate and respectful conception of God.
The motif of the small, the poor, and the meek is a recurring theme throughout the New Testament. We have a new beginning and once again it is the love of the Lord for the small that emerges. We see it in the figure of Mary, the humble handmaid of the Lord (Lk 1:48) and it is perfectly fulfilled in the Incarnation of the Word of God, humbled even unto death on a cross (Phil 2:6-8), and becomes the history of salvation of the Christian community.
Nine years have passed since the Syrian conflict began, since the optimism of the 2011 Arab Spring turned into tragedy. For Syria, it all began on March 15 of that year, when protesters took to the streets in Daraa, in the southwest of the country. Soon protests – mostly peaceful – spread throughout the country, demanding an end to the 40-year rule of the Assad family.