By Florence Taylor
Pope Francis used his Angelus message on Sunday to preach about the end times, encouraging a focus on living in the present and Jesus’ victory.
The Pope also explicitly addressed the Paris attack, expressing his “deep sorrow for the terrorist attacks that bloodied France late on Friday, causing many casualties.”
“We wonder how can it come to the heart of man to conceive and carry out of such horrible events”, he said.
“The road of violence and hatred does not resolve humanity’s problems. And using the name of God to justify this road is blasphemy.”
Reading from Sunday’s scripture, the Pope spoke of Jesus’ preaching on the end of the world containing “apocalyptic elements, like war, famine, and cosmic catastrophes.”
Although he acknowledged these signs, he highlighted that they are not the most important things. Rather, “our final goal is the meeting with the resurrected Lord.”
Rather than focusing on when or how the end will come, Francis compelled his audience to “live in the present.”
“This is our goal: this meeting. We do not expect a time or a place, but we encounter a person: Jesus.”
At the end of the world, Francis said, “Jesus’ triumph will be the triumph of the cross, the demonstration that the sacrifice of oneself out of love for one’s neighbour, in imitation of Christ, is the only victorious power and the only stable point in the midst of the upheavals and tragedies of the world.”
Meanwhile the so-called Islamic State warned in a new video on Monday that countries taking part in air strikes against Syria would suffer the same fate as France, and threatened to attack in Washington.
The video, which appeared on a site used by Islamic State to post its messages, begins with news footage of the aftermath of Friday’s Paris shootings in which at least 129 people were killed.
The message to countries involved in what it called the “crusader campaign” was delivered by a man dressed in fatigues and a turban, and identified in subtitles as Al Ghareeb the Algerian.