Pope Francis on Sunday called on
Christians to consult the Bible with the
same frequency as they might consult their
cellphones for messages.
Speaking to the crowds gathered in St.
Peter's Square following his weekly Angelus
blessing, the Pope urged those present to
give the Bible the same place in daily life
as cellphones and asked: “What would happen
if we turned back when we forget it, if we
opened it more times a day, if we read the
message of God contained in the Bible the
way we read messages on our cellphones?”
The Bible, he explained, contains the
Word of God, the most effective tool in
fighting evil and keeping us close to God.
Clearly, Francis said, the comparison
between the Bible and the cellphone is
paradoxical, but it induces us to reflect.
“If we always carried God’s Word in our
hearts, no temptation would distance us from
the Father, and no obstacle would take us
off the path towards good” he said.
He pointed out that in this first Sunday
of Lent, the Gospel of Matthew tells of
Jesus’s forty days in the desert and of how
he was tempted by the devil.
With his temptations, the Pope said,
Satan wanted to divert Jesus from the path
of obedience and humbleness – because he
knew that this was the way to conquer evil –
and he wanted him to take the false shortcut
towards glory and success.
“But the devil’s poisonous darts are all
‘blocked’ by Jesus with the shield provided
by God’s Word” he said, pointing out that
Jesus never uses his own words but only
God’s Word, and thus, filled with the force
of the Holy Spirit, he victoriously crosses
Pope Francis invited all Christians to
follow in Jesus’ footsteps during the forty
days of Lent and to confront the spiritual
battle against evil with the strength of
“That’s why, he said, it is necessary to
become familiar with the Bible: read it
often, reflect upon it, assimilate it. The
Bible contains the Word of God which is
always topical and effective” he said.
Inviting the faithful to carry a
pocket-sized Gospel all the time, the Pope
concluded with the words: “don’t forget what
would happen if we treated the Bible as we
treat our cellphone, always with us, always
close to us!”