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During his recent Sunday mass at the Vatican commemorating the feast of Our Lady Guadalupe, Pope Francis said he has seen signs of darker and more harrowing times coming for mankind, The Daily Mail in London reported.
The Pope says God has given him a vision of “omens of even greater destruction and desolation” than the current difficult times the world is experiencing now, including wars, the rising cost of living, poverty, famine and an international energy crisis.
In his homily Sunday, Pope Francis said, “It is a bitter time, filled with the rumbling of war, growing injustice, famine, poverty and suffering.” But, the pontiff said, he had a vision that things will only worsen in the near future.
At the same time, however, the pontiff told the Vatican congregation to prepare for Christmas and to embrace God’s love for humanity, that the Great Commission is of the utmost priority, and that the church must work together in unity to execute it.
“God’s divine love and His coming down to tell us that this too is a propitious time in which the Lord, through the Virgin Mother, continues to give us His Son,” Francis said. “(We need) to get together with each other ‘without delay,’ to go out to meet our brothers and sisters who have been forgotten and discarded by our consumerist and indifferent societies.”
During his homily, the Pope invoked John 3:16 which reads, “God who so loved the world, sent His Son born of a woman so that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”
Pope Francis has been particularly concerned about the plight of the Ukrainian people and critical of Russian President Vladimir Putin “ongoing” invasion of that Ukraine, which will mark one year on Feb. 24.
The Daily Mail reported that he struggled to finish his sermon, choking up and halting his words while talking about the war-torn country.
“I would have liked to have brought you the thanks of the Ukrainian people,” he said. “But … the Ukrainian people for the peace we have so long asked of the Lord. Instead, I must present you with the please of children, elderly, mothers and fathers and the young people of that martyred land, suffering so much.”
A day earlier, The Daily Mail reported, Pope Francis compared the war in Ukraine to a Nazi operation that killed some 2 million people, mostly Jews, in the first years of World War II.
Shawn A. Akers is the online editor at Charisma Media.