Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Pope asks people if they used 2013 to help others



VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis used his year-end prayer service on Tuesday evening to urge people to ask themselves a tough question: Did they mainly spend 2013 promoting self-interests or helping others?

That’s what we all should consider as New Year’s celebrations get under way, the pontiff said as he led the service in St. Peter’s Basilica to give thanks, a Vatican year-end tradition.

“Let us courageously ask ourselves: How did we live the time (God) gave us?” Francis asked in his homily. “Did we use it above all for ourselves, for our interests, or did we know how to spend it for others as well?”

He also encouraged people to reflect on whether they used 2013 to improve the place where they live. “This year did we contribute, in our own small ways, to make it more livable, orderly, welcoming?”

There are “so many people marked by material and moral poverty, poor people, unhappy, suffering, who appeal to the conscience not only of public authorities but of every citizen,” Francis said.

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