Pope: Violence against young people is a "hidden scream"
Pope Francis said before the Angelus prayer (March 12) that the violence and mistreatment of children is "a plague, a hidden scream that must be heard by all of us, and that we cannot continue to pretend not to see or listen." He went on to say, "I pray and ask you to pray with me for the girls and boys who are victims of violence, mistreatment, exploitation and wars."
The pontiff also devoted a prayer to the people of Guatemala, "who live in mourning for the serious and sad fire that broke out inside the Casa Refugio Virgen de la Asunción that killed and injured girls who lived there." Having expressed his "closeness" to the Central American country, Pope Francis called on God to "receive their souls, heal the wounded, console the grieving families and the whole nation."
Before the Marian prayer, Pope Francis spoke to the 40,000 people in St Peter's Square, saying the Cross "is not some home furnishing or an ornament to wear, but a call for the love with which Jesus sacrificed Himself to save humanity from evil and sin." It says that "whoever dies with Christ shall rise again. Those who struggle with Him shall triumph."
St Joseph - our Role Model
It is somewhat intriguing that the solemnity of St Joseph is celebrated in Lent. Upon reflecting on the Gospel record, I believe that it is not by accident that this solemnity is celebrated during Lent (March 19).
St Joseph has proven to be a real model for us during Lent. He is the contemplative, obedient, detached, chaste and humble character in the Holy Family, showing us a pathway to come closer to God. We have probably subscribed to several Lenten reflections to help us make Lent more meaningful. However, St Joseph teaches us unique lessons, which are applicable not just for Lent, but all throughout our life.
Contemplation: The practice of intense silence through contemplation is the first lesson we learn from him. The Angel appeared to St Joseph; upon waking up from the nightmare, it was a contemplative moment for him. It was In the moments of intense silence that he could further understand the plan of God. During our journey, not just in Lent, but rather throughout our life, it is crucial for us to break out from the noise, and spend time in contemplative prayer, listening and understanding God's plan in our lives.
Election Results 2017
A look at the election manifestos of the winners: BJP's manifesto in Uttar Pradesh:
Farmers: Agricultural loans to be waived; farm irrigation scheme to be started with a special focus on Bundelkhand; food processing parks to be set up
Populist measures: Laptops to be provided to all students with 1GB, free WiFi in universities; free education up to Class XII
Social sector: Garib Kalyan card to be introduced; 24-hour electricity in Uttar Pradesh with subsidised rates for the poor; 100 fast-track courts to be set up for women
Law and order: Complaints to be registered in 24 hours; 100 helpline to be upgraded; special task force to tackle illegal mining; district level teams to be formed to check exodus of people due to communal violence.
Employment: No interview for Class III and IV UP government jobs to end corruption in recruitment; create jobs for seven million people; vacant government posts to be filled
Industry: Set up a start-up incubator and a venture capital fund worth Rs 1,000 crore, apart from 25 new medical colleges.