Vatican Radio REPORT: We need a "big heart" that is wide open and capable of loving. We must also avoid behaving selfishly at all costs because, selfish people, like Judas, do not understand what giving and love are; they become traitors, isolated and alone. This was Pope Francis’ message Tuesday morning during Mass at Casa Santa Marta.
Focusing on the Gospel of the day and the contrast between the path of love and that of selfishness, Pope Francis said if we really want to follow Jesus, we must "live life as a gift" to give to others, "not as a treasure to be kept to ourselves". The Pope quoted the words of Christ: " No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends." But Tuesday's liturgy, he noted, also presents us with another person: Judas, "who had the exact opposite attitude." And this, he explained, was because Judas "never understood what gift really means":

"Let us think of that moment with the Magdalene, when she washed the feet of Jesus with nard, which was so expensive: it is a religious moment, a moment of gratitude, a moment of love. And he [Judas] stands apart and criticizes her bitterly: 'But ... this could be used for the poor!'. This is the first reference that I personally found in the Gospel of poverty as an ideology. The ideologue does not know what love is, because they do not know how to gift themselves".

Pope Francis continued: Judas stood apart “in his solitude" and this attitude of selfishness grew to the point of his "betrayal of Jesus." He said those who love “give their lives as a gift", the selfish instead "safeguards his life, grows in this selfishness and becomes a traitor, but is always alone." However, those who "give their life for love, are never alone: they are always in the community, part of the family." The Pope warned that those who "isolate their conscience in selfishness," in the end "lose". This is how Judas ended up, the Pope said, he "was an idolater, attached to money"

"And this idolatry has led him to isolate himself from the community of others: this is the drama of the isolated conscience. When a Christian begins to isolate themselves, he or she also insulates his or her conscience from the sense of community, the sense of the Church, from that love that Jesus gives us. Instead, the Christian who gifts his or her life, who loses it, as Jesus says, finds it again, finds it in its fullness. And those who, like Judas, want to keep it for themselves, lose it in the end. John tells us that 'at that moment Satan entered into Judas' heart'. And, we must say: With Satan the payback is rotten. He always rips us off, always! "

Instead Jesus always loves and always gives. And this gift of love, the Pope said, impels us to love "to bear fruit. And the fruit remains. " Pope Francis concluded his homily with an invocation to the Holy Spirit:

"In these days of waiting for the feast of the Holy Spirit, we ask: Come, Holy Spirit, come and give me this big heart, this heart capable of loving with humility, with meekness, an open heart that is capable of loving. And let's ask this grace, of the Holy Spirit. And may He free us always from the other path, the path of selfishness, which eventually ends badly. Let us ask for this grace. "

Tuesday morning Mass was concelebrated by the Archbishop of Medellín, Ricardo Antonio Restrepo Tobón, and was attended staff from the Vatican Museums and students of the Pontifical Portuguese College. 


Vatican City, 14 May 2013 (VIS) – This year, for the first time, the Holy See will participate in the Venice Biennale (1 June – 24 November)with a pavilion inspired by the Biblical story of Genesis, entitled “In the Beginning”. The name was chosen by Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, who, in line with his dicastery's mission, is seeking meeting points to stimulate the Church's dialogue with contemporary culture.
The first eleven chapters of Genesis are the starting point for the Holy See's pavilion, which is being coordinated by the director of the Vatican Museums, Antonio Paolucci. Beginning from three thematic areas, which have been entrusted to three different artists, the viewer is invited to enter into the first book of the Bible and to discover the journeys that begin therein; Creation, Uncreation, and Re-Creation.
This morning in the Holy See's Press Office, Cardinal Ravasi, the director of the Vatican Museums, and the president of the Biennale, Paolo Baratta, presented the event.
“The Pontifical Council for Culture,” began Cardinal Ravasi, “holds contemporary art at the heart of its interests for it is one of the most important cultural expressions of recent decades.” Genesis, the theme of the Holy See's pavilion, “is fundamental for culture and for Church tradition. It is also a source of inspiration for many whose works that have left a mark on the history of art: the story told in the Book of Genesis. Specifically, the first eleven chapters have been chosen, as they are dedicated to the mystery of man’s origins, the introduction of evil into history, and our hope and future projects after the devastation symbolically represented by the Flood. Wide-ranging discussions on the multiplicity of the themes offered by this inexhaustible source led to three thematic areas being chosen ...”
“The theme of Creation,” the cardinal continued, “concentrates on the first part of the biblical narrative, when the creative act is introduced through the Word and the breath of the Holy Spirit, generating a temporal and spatial dimension, and all forms of life including human beings. Uncreation, on the other hand, invites us to focus on the choice of going against God’s original plan through forms of ethical and material destruction, such as original sin and the first murder, inviting us to reflect on the 'inhumanity of man'. The ensuing violence and disharmony trigger a new start for humanity, which begins with the punitive/purifying event of the Flood. In this biblical story, the concept of the voyage, and the themes of seeking and hope, represented by the figure of Noah and his family and then by Abraham and his progeny, eventually lead to the designation of a New Man and a renewed creation, where a profound internal change gives new meaning and vitality to existence.”
The director of the Vatican Museums then spoke of the artists who are illustrating the three themes. “The theme of Creation was entrusted to Studio Azzurro, which places the immaterial image, light, sound, and sensory stimuli at the centre of their artistic investigation... Their work triggers a dialogue, awash with echoes and reverberations, between the vegetable and animal kingdoms and the human dimension, which leads, via memory, to other personal narrations on the concept of origins within an interactive plane that is also a temporal intersection.” The photographer Josef Koudelka is responsible for Uncreation. The power of his panoramic, black and white, speaks of the opposition between the human being and the world with its laws—moral and natural—and the material destruction that comes from a loss of a moral sense. Re-Creation was entrusted to the artist Lawrence Carroll, who is capable of giving life to salvaged materials, transfiguring them through processes of reconsideration and regeneration and who, against all odds, opens new possibilities of coexistence between as seemingly unrelated dimensions as fragility and monumentality.
“The Holy See's presence, for the first time, among the pavilions of the Venice Biennale,” concluded Paolo Baratta, “is an event of great importance and as such is hailed by the world of art and culture. This decision is a confirmation of the significance of the Biennale as a platform for exchange and dialogue. … This 55th edition of the International Art Exhibition is ... an exhibition-research. Over the years, the mixed fortunes of contemporary art have witnessed artists express ideas and make declarations that required a form and conversely, artists create forms that demanded reflection. Yet it has always placed humankind and its doubts at the forefront, seeking the actively engaged viewer rather than the passive consumer. From this point of view, the renewed attention of the Holy See at this time seems extremely important.”
Vatican City, 14 May 2013 (VIS) – The Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff today announced that this coming Sunday, 19 May, at 6:00pm, Cardinal Baselios Cleemis Thottunkal, major archbishop of Trivandrum of the Syro-Malankars, India, will take possession of the title of St. Gregory VII al Gelsomino on Via del Cottolegno, 4.
The following Sunday, 26 May, at 11:30am, Cardinal James Michael Harvey, archpriest of Saint Paul Outside-the-Walls Basilica, will take possession of the diaconate of St. Pius V a Villa Carpegna in Largo San Pio V, 3.
Vatican City, 14 May 2013 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father appointed Bishop Hector Eduardo Vargas Bastidas, S.D.B., as bishop of Temuco (area 17,474, population 596,000, Catholics 386,000, priests 71, permanent deacons 41, religious 162), Chile. Bishop Vargas Bastidas, previously of San Marcos de Arica, Chile, was born in Valdivia, Los Rios, Chile, was ordained to the priesthood in 1980, and received episcopal ordination in 2004. He was national president of the Private Schools Association (FIDE) and a representative of the Catholic International Education Office (OIEC) to the United Nations' Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (UNECLAC). He succeeds Bishop Manuel Camilo Vial Risopatron, P. Schonstatt, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.