|Vatican Radio report In order to follow Jesus we must get rid of our culture based on economic wellbeing and of our attraction for the provisional. This was the message highlighted this morning by Pope Francis during Mass at the Domus Sanctae Marthae. Addressing those present the Pope invited us to examine our consciences and take stock of the riches that prevent us from getting close to Jesus. The Mass, that was concelebrated by Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, Archbishop of Lyon, also saw the participation of members of the Pontifical Council for Healthcare Workers led by Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski President of the Council, and a group of collaborators of the Vatican Department of Economic Services, led by Mr. Sabatino Napolitano.|
Jesus asked a young man to give all his riches to the poor and then to follow him. But when the young man heard this, he went away sad. Pope Francis’ homily found inspiration in the well-known episode narrated in the Gospel, and he underlined that “riches are an impediment” that “do not facilitate our journey towards the Kingdom of God”. And he pointed out: “Each and every one of us has riches”. There is always, he said, a richness that “stops us from getting close to Jesus”. And this must be singled out. We must all, he continued, examine our conscience and pinpoint our riches because they stop us from getting close to Jesus on the path of life”. And the Pope focused on what he called two “cultural riches”: the first, a “culture of economic wellbeing that causes us to be lacking in courage, makes us lazy, makes us selfish”. Wellbeing, he said, “anaesthetizes us, it’s an anaesthetic”.
“No, no, not more than one child, because otherwise we will not be able to go on holiday, we will not be able to go out, we will not be able to buy a house. It’s all very well to follow the Lord, but only up to a certain point. This is what economic wellbeing does to us: we all know what wellbeing is, but it deprives us of courage, of the courage we need to get close to Jesus. This is the first richness of the culture of today, the culture of economic wellbeing”.
There is also, he added, “another richness in our culture”, another richness that prevents us from getting close to Jesus: it’s our fascination for the temporary”. We, he observed, are “in love with the provisional”. We don’t like Jesus’s “definitive proposals”. Instead we like what is temporary because “we are afraid of God’s time” which is definitive.
“He is the Lord of time; we are the masters of the moment. Why? Because we are in command of the moment: I will follow the Lord up to this point, and then I will see… I heard of a man who wanted to become a priest - but only for ten years, not any longer…” Attraction for the provisional: this is a richness. We want to become masters of time, we live for the moment. These two riches are the ones that, in this moment, prevent us from going forward. I think of so many men and women who have left their land to work throughout their lives as missionaries: that is definitive!”.
And, he said, I also think of so many men and women who “have left their homes to commit to a lifelong marriage”, that is “to follow Jesus closely! It’s the definitive”. The temporary, Pope Francis stressed, “is not following Jesus”, it’s “our territory”.
Before Jesus’ invitation, before these two cultural riches, let us think of the disciples: they were disconcerted. We too can be disconcerted by Jesus’ request. When Jesus explained something, people listened in amazement. Let us ask the Lord to give us the courage to go forward, to rid ourselves of this culture of economic wellbeing, hoping in time – at the end of the journey where He awaits us. Not with the small hope of the moment that will no longer be of any use. And so be it”.
shared from Radio Vaticana
FRANCIS: REALITY IS UNDERSTOOD BETTER FROM PERIPHERY
Vatican City, 26 May 2013 (VIS) – “We understand reality better not from the center, but from the outskirts”, Pope Francis said to the thousands of persons awaiting him this morning at the Roman parish of Sts. Elizabeth and Zechariah in the Prima Porta neighbourhood on the northern outskirts of the city. Upon arriving, the Holy Father, who was accompanied by Cardinal Agostino Vallini, vicar general of the Diocese of Rome, and Auxiliary Bishop Guerino Di Tora, greeted the families with children who had been baptized during the year and also heard several confessions. Also with the Pope were his two secretaries, one of whom, one of whom, Msgr. Alfred Xuereb, was celebrating the 29th anniversary of his ordination. The pontiff noted the happy occasion and asked for an applause for Msgr. Xuereb.
At , in the square in front of the church, after being welcomed by the parish pastor, Don Benoni Ambarus, he presided at Mass, during which he administered the Sacrament of the Eucharist to 16 children and gave communion to another 28 children who had made First Communion in the past few weeks.
In his homily, warm and conversational in tone, interspersed with questions from and answers to the children present, the Pope recalled Mary’s visit to her cousin Isabel, observing that, as soon as the Virgin heard the news that her cousin was also pregnant, Mary--the Gospel says—“set out in haste”, without waiting or thinking that Isabel “will probably have friends who will help her.” “It’s beautiful to think this about the Virgin, our Mother, who sets out in haste because she has this within her: helping. She goes to help, not to boast and say to her cousin: ‘Listen, I’m in charge now because I am the mother of God!’ No she didn’t do that. She went to help! And Our Lady is always like that. She is our Mother, who always comes in haste when we need help. It would be nice to add to the litanies of Our Lady one that says ‘Our Lady who sets out in haste, pray for us!’ … Because she always sets out in haste, she doesn’t forget her children. And when her children are in difficulty, when they are in need and call upon her, she sets out in haste. And this gives us a security, the certainty of always having our mother near, always at our side. … Our Lady who always comes for us quickly.”
“Our Lady also helps us to understand God well … to understand Jesus’ life,” the pontiff continued, beginning a conversation with the children.
“I ask you, children: Who knows who God is? Raise your hands, tell me. Okay! Creator of the earth. And how many Gods are there? One? But they told me that there are three: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit! … They are three in one, three persons in one. And what does the Father do? The Father is the origin: the Father, who created all things, who created us. What does the Son do? … He loves us? And what else? He brings the Word of God! Jesus came to teach us God’s Word. And what else? What did Jesus do on earth? He saved us! Jesus came to give his life for us. The Father creates the world; Jesus saves us. And the Holy Spirit, what does He do? He loves us!”
“Now all the children together: the Father creates everything, He creates the world. Jesus saves us; and the Holy Spirit? He loves us! And this is the Christian life: talking with the Father, talking with the Son, and talking with the Holy Spirit. Jesus saved us, but He also walks with us in life. … And how does He walk? What does He do when He walks with us in life? This is hard. The one who answers it wins the trophy! What does Jesus do when He walks with us? … First of all He helps us. He guides us! Very good! He walks with us, helps us, guides us, and teaches us how to go forward. Jesus also gives us the strength to walk. … When it’s difficult, right? And even with our homework! … He gives us strength. How does Jesus give us strength? … In Communion He gives us strength, He helps us exactly by giving us strength. … But when you say ‘He gives us Communion’, does a piece of bread give you so much strength? … It looks like bread! But it’s not really bread. What is it? It Jesus’ body. Jesus comes into our hearts.”
“Well, let’s all think about this, all of us. The Father gave us life; Jesus gave us salvation. He accompanies us, guides us, supports us, and teaches us. And the Holy Spirit? What does the Holy Spirit give us? He loves us! He gives us love. Let us think about God like this and ask Our Lady, Our Lady who is our Mother, who is always quick to help us, to teach us to understand how God is: how the Father is, how the Son is, and how the Holy Spirit is.”
After Mass, the Pope greeted the parish pastors and returned to the Vatican to pray the Angelus.
|ANGELUS: WE ARE NOT SLAVES TO THE MAFIA|
Vatican City, 26 May 2013 (VIS) – At noon today, the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity, the Holy Father appeared at the window of his study to pray the Angelus with the faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square.
“Every year, the light of Easter renews in us the joy and wonder of the faith,” Pope Francis said. “We recognize that God is not something vague. Our God is not some smoke. He is concrete; not an abstraction but having a name: ‘God is love.’ Not some sentimental or affective love, but the love of the Father who is the origin of all life; the love of the Son who dies upon the cross and rises again; the love of the Spirit, who renews humanity and the world. Understanding that God is love does us much good, because it teaches us to love, to give ourselves to others as Jesus gave himself to us and walks with us.”
“The Most Holy Trinity is not a product of human reasoning. It is the face with which God revealed himself, not from a cathedra on high, but walking with humanity. It is Jesus who revealed the Father to us and who promised us the Holy Spirit … who teaches us everything that we don’t know, who guides us from within, who gives us good ideas and good inspiration.”
At the end of the Marian prayer, the Pope recalled Don Giuseppe Puglisi, priest and martyr, who was killed by the mafia in 1993 and proclaimed a blessed yesterday, Saturday 25 May.
“Don Puglisi,” he continued, “was an exemplary priest, especially dedicated to pastoral work with young people. Teaching them according to the Gospel, he snatched them away from a life of crime. For this [the mafia] tried to defeat him by killing him. In fact, however, he is the one who won, with the Risen Christ. I think of the many sufferings of the men and women, and even of children, who are exploited by the different mafias, who exploit them by forcing them into work that makes them slaves, with prostitution, and with many societal pressures. The mafias are behind this exploitation and slavery.”
“Let us pray to the Lord,” the Holy Father asked, “to convert the hearts of these people. They cannot do this! Brothers and sisters, they cannot make us slaves! We must pray to the Lord! Let us … praise God for Don Giuseppe Puglisi’s shining witness and let us treasure his example!”
|POPE: NO WORSE POVERTY THAN PREVENTING PEOPLE FROM EARNING A LIVING|
Vatican City, 25 May 2013 (VIS) – Members of the "Centesimus Annus - Pro Pontefice" Foundation, which was established 20 years ago by Blessed John Paul II, were received this afternoon by Pope Francis during their annual international conference. This year's theme is “Rethinking Solidarity for Work: Challenges of the 21st Century”.
In his address to them, the Bishop of Rome noted that the foundation bears the same name as an encyclical published by John Paul II on the centenary anniversary of “Rerum Novarum” and has, therefore, the Church's social doctrine as the scope of its analysis and action. “Rethinking solidarity,” he said, “doesn't mean questioning the recent Magisterium that, in fact, demonstrates ever more its vision and its relevance. Rather, 'rethinking' seems to me to mean two things: first of all combining the Magisterium with socio-economic development that, being constant and quick, always presents new aspects and second, 'rethinking' means going more in depth, reflecting further, to make all of a value's worth emerge—solidarity in this case—which draws upon the Gospel profoundly, that is, upon Jesus Christ and thus contains inexhaustible potential.”
“The current economic and social crisis adds urgency to this 'rethinking'. … It is a phenomenon, like that of unemployment—the lack and the loss of a job—that is spreading like wildfire in large areas of the West and that is alarmingly extending the boundaries of poverty. And there is no worse material poverty, I would like to emphasize, than that which deprives someone of earning their living, deprives them of the dignity of work. By now this 'something wrong' is not just affecting the southern regions of the world, but the entire planet. Hence the need to 'rethink solidarity', no longer as simple assistance to the poor but as a global rethinking of the entire system, seeking ways to reform and correct it in a manner consistent with fundamental human rights, the rights of all men and women. This word 'solidarity', which isn't seen in a good light by the economic world—as if it were a bad word—needs to have its deserved social citizenship restored.”
At the end of his address, the Holy Father reiterated that the crisis is not just an economic or financial one, but rather is rooted in an ethical and anthropological crisis. “Chasing the idols of power, profit, and money over and above the value of the human person has become a basic rule of operation and a decisive criterion of organization. It has been forgotten, and still we forget, that above business logic and the parameters of the market lies human being and that there is something owed to humans as humans, in virtue of their profound dignity: the opportunity to live in dignity and to actively participate in the common good.”
Vatican City, (VIS) – This morning, the Holy Father received:
- Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski, president of the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Assistance to Health Care Workers,
- Cardinal Velasio De Paolis, C.S., president emeritus of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See, and
- Bishop Lucio Andrice Muandula of Xai-Xai, Mozambique and president of the Episcopal Conference of Mozambique.
On Saturday, 25 May, the Holy Father received:
- Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, and
- Cardinal Baselios Cleemis Thottunkal, major archbishop of Trivandrum of the Syro-Malankars, India.
|OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS|
Vatican City, 25 May 2013 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father:
- accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the Archdiocese of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, presented by Cardinal Julio Terrazas Sandoval, C.SS.R., upon having reached the age limit. He is succeeded by Archbishop Sergio Alfredo Gualberti Calandrina, previously coadjutor of the same archdiocese.
- appointed Cardinal Francesco Monterisi, archpriest emeritus of the Saint Paul Outside-the-Walls Basilica, as special envoy to the closing celebration of the sixth centenary of the discovery of the statue of Santa Maria della Libera to be held in the shrine of Cercemaggiore, Italy on of this year.