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Pope proposes Lenten resolution: Keep your eyes on Jesus


This Lent, Christians should become "seekers of light" by keeping their sights set on the light of Jesus through prayer and participating in the sacraments, Pope Francis said.

"This is a good Lenten resolution: cultivating a welcoming outlook, becoming 'seekers of light,' seekers of the light of Jesus, both in prayer and in people," he told visitors in St. Peter's Square before praying the Angelus with them Feb. 25.

The pope had canceled his previous day's meetings due to mild flu-like symptoms, the Vatican said, but he spoke to the estimated 20,000 people gathered at the Vatican without obvious signs of difficulty.

Reflecting on the day's Gospel reading from St. Mark, Pope Francis said that Jesus' transfiguration -- when he radiated before his disciples in a dazzling white light -- "reveals to them the meaning of what they had experienced together up to that moment."

"The preaching of the kingdom, the forgiveness of sins, the healings and the performed signs were, indeed, sparks of a greater light, namely, of the light of Jesus, of the light that Jesus is," he said. "And from this light, the disciples are never to direct their eyes away, especially in moments of trial, like those of the Passion which was near at this point."

Pope Francis said that the message of the Transfiguration is that Christians should "never direct your eyes away from the light of Jesus," and he encouraged them to be like farmers who keep their eyes fixed on a distant point to stay in a straight line when plowing fields.

"This is what we are called to do as Christians while we journey through life: to always keep the luminous face of Jesus before our eyes," he said.

The pope told Christians to "be open to welcome the light of Jesus," who is love and "life without end."

"Along the roads of existence, which can be tortuous from time to time, let us seek his face, which is so full of mercy, fidelity and hope," he said.

Prayer, listening to the word of God, and participating in the sacraments -- especially confession and the Eucharist -- "help us to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus," the pope said.

"Do I make space for silence, prayer, adoration?" Pope Francis encouraged Christians to ask themselves. "Do I seek out every little ray of Jesus' light, which is reflected in me and in every brother and sister I encounter? And do I remember to thank him for this?"