When you feel the urge to check your horoscope, instead turn your gaze to Jesus, recommends Pope Francis, who assures that a glance toward Our Lord “will serve us better” than fortune-tellers.

The Pope said this today before praying the midday Angelus with those gathered in St. Peter’s Square on this second-to-last Sunday of the liturgical year.

The readings from the liturgies of this season focus on the end of times, as today’s selection from the 13th Chapter of Mark.

Though there are “apocalyptic elements” in the reading, the Pope explained, “these segments are not the essential part of the message.”

“The central nucleus around which the words of Jesus turn is he himself, the mystery of his person, and of his death and resurrection, and his return at the end of time. Our final goal is an encounter with the Risen Lord.”

The Pope asked how often we consider the fact that “There will be a day in which I encounter the Lord face to face,” saying that what’s important is not knowing when or how the end times will come, but rather “that we find ourselves prepared.”

And the lesson from the fig tree that Jesus gives us in today’s Gospel teaches us to “look toward our current days with an outlook of hope.”

Hope is a virtue that’s hard to live, the Pontiff acknowledged, referring to it as the “smallest of the virtues, but the strongest.” But, “our hope has a face: the face of the Risen Lord, who comes ‘with great power and glory,’ and this will manifest his love, crucified and transfigured in the Resurrection.”

Stable point

Pope Francis said that Jesus’ triumph at the end of time “will be the triumph of the cross.” And he said that there’s only one victorious power: “the sacrifice of oneself for love of neighbor, in imitation of Christ.” This, he said, “is the only stable point in the midst of the upheavals of the world.”

Jesus is the “destination point of our earthly pilgrimage,” but he is also the “constant presence in our lives,” the Pope continued, saying that “he is at our side; he walks with us; he loves us so much.”

“He wants to direct his disciples of every age away from curiosity about dates, predictions, horoscopes, and concentrate their attention on the today of history.”

In this context, the Pope asked: how many are there among us who read their horoscope every day?

“When you feel like reading your horoscope,” he said, “look to Jesus who is with us. That is better and will serve us better.”

“Everything passes, the Lord reminds us. His word alone remains as light that looks upon and steadies our journey. He always forgives us because he is at our side. We only have to look at him and he changes our hearts. May the Virgin Mary help us to trust in Jesus, the firm foundation of our lives, and persevere with joy in his love.”

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