The faithful and visitors braved the wind and rain on Sunday to hear Pope Benedict XVI recite the Angelus prayer from the Papal Apartments overlooking St Peter’s Square. Looking down on a sea of people with umbrellas and raincoats, the Holy Father as is traditional reflected on Sunday’s liturgy which focused on two widows who were models of faith.
The First Reading from the Book of Kings tells the story of a woman who despite being very poor gives the Prophet Elijah food and drink when she has hardly any for herself and her son. The Gospel Reading from St Mark shows the charity of a woman who puts all the money she has into the Treasury. “In today’s Gospel, the poor widow gives everything she possesses to the Temple. May her unconditional offering inspire us to rely on God alone, while attributing to everything else its due place and proper worth.” Pope Benedict explained that both widows in these Biblical stories provide us with a valuable lesson about faith. They give their trust entirely to God and are rewarded for it.
Widows and orphans, said the Pope are particularly special to God because they have lost the support on loved ones but God remains their spouse, or parent. The Holy Father also noted that no one is so poor that they cannot donate something, These women, he said are examples of the inseparable bond of faith and charity.
Following the recitation of the Marian Prayer Pope Benedict recalled that November the 11th marks the Day of Thanksgiving it Italy saying that the day highlights the need to be rooted in faith and to acknowledge the providential hand of God who looks after his children.