At 12 o'clock today, the Holy Father Francis appeared at the window of the study in the Vatican Apostolic Palace to recite the Angelus with the faithful and the pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square.
These are the words of the Pope in introducing the Marian prayer:
Before the Angelus
Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!
In today's Gospel passage (cf. Mk 8: 27-35), the question that goes through the whole Gospel of Mark returns: who is Jesus? But this time it is Jesus himself who places it to the disciples, gradually helping them to face the question of his identity. Before asking them directly, the Twelve, Jesus wants to hear from them what people think of him - and he knows very well that the disciples are very sensitive to the popularity of the Master! So he asks: "People, who say I am?" (V. 27). It emerges that Jesus is considered by the people a great prophet. But, in reality, he is not interested in polls and people's gossip. He does not even accept that his disciples answer his questions with pre-packaged formulas, citing famous people of the Holy Scriptures, because a faith reduced to formulas is a short-sighted faith.
The Lord wants his disciples of yesterday and today to establish a personal relationship with Him, and thus welcome him to the center of their lives. This is why he urges them to ask themselves in all truth before themselves, and asks: "But you, who do you say that I am?" (V. 29). Jesus, today, addresses this request so direct and confidential to each of us: "You, who do you say I am? Who do you say that I am? Who am I for you? ". Everyone is called to respond in his heart, letting himself be illuminated by the light that the Father gives us to know his Son Jesus. And it can happen to us, like Peter, to affirm enthusiastically: "You are the Christ". But when Jesus tells us clearly what he said to the disciples, namely that his mission is accomplished not in the broad road of success, but in the arduous path of the suffering, humiliated, rejected and crucified Servant, then it can also happen to us, like Peter , to protest and rebel because this contrasts with our expectations, with worldly expectations. In those moments, we too deserve the healthy reproof of Jesus: "Get Behind me, Satan! Because you do not think according to God, but according to men "(v. 33).
Brothers and sisters, the profession of faith in Jesus Christ can not stop at words, but asks to be authenticated by choices and concrete gestures, by a life marked by the love of God, by a great life, by a life with so much love for the next. Jesus tells us that in order to follow him, to be his disciples, one must deny oneself (see verse 34), that is, the claims of one's own selfish pride, and take up one's own cross. Then it gives everyone a fundamental rule. And what is this rule? "Whoever wants to save his life will lose it. Often in life, for many reasons, we are wrong way, looking for happiness only in things, or in the people we treat as things. But we find happiness only when love, the real one, meets us, surprises us, changes us. Love changes everything! And love can change us too, each of us. The testimonies of the saints demonstrate this.
May the Virgin Mary, who lived her faith faithfully following her Son Jesus, also help us to walk in her path, generously spending our lives for him and for our brothers.
[01376-EN.02] [Original text: Italian]
After the Angelus
Dear brothers and sisters,
Yesterday I went on an apostolic visit to Piazza Armerina and to Palermo, Sicily, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the death of Blessed Pino Puglisi [applause]. A round of applause to don Pino! I sincerely thank the civil and ecclesiastical authorities and all the people who helped make this journey possible. I thank the good pilots of the plane and the helicopter. I thank especially the dear bishops Rosario Gisana and Corrado Lorefice for their excellent pastoral service. I thank the young people, the families and all the wonderful people of this beautiful land of Sicily, for their warm welcome. The example and testimony of Don Puglisi continue to enlighten all of us and to give us confirmation that good is stronger than evil, love is stronger than hatred. May the Lord bless you Sicilians and your land! An applause to the Sicilians!
Dear brothers and sisters, I greet with affection all of you, Romans and pilgrims from different countries: families, parish groups, associations.
I greet the participants in the "Missio Giovani" assembly of the Pontifical Mission Societies and encourage them to be witnesses of Jesus' merciful love.
I greet the teachers and the Latin-speaking students of the "Corderius College" of Amersfoort: Valete dilectissimi!
I greet the confirmations of Marsan (Vicenza) and the Swiss musicians of Oron-la-Ville. I also see a nice group from Nicaragua. I greet you so much!
Today, two days after the Feast of the Holy Cross, I thought of giving to you that you are here in the square a crucifix. Here it is [shows]. The crucifix is the sign of God's love, which in Jesus gave life for us. I invite you to welcome this gift and bring it into your homes, your children's room, or your grandparents ..., in any part, but in the house. It is not an ornamental object, but a religious sign to contemplate and pray. Looking at Jesus crucified, we look at our salvation. You do not pay anything. If someone tells you that you have to pay, it's a smart one! Nothing! This is a gift from the Pope. I thank the sisters, the poor and the refugees who will now distribute this gift, small but precious! As always, faith comes from the little ones, from the humble ones.
I wish everyone a good Sunday. Please do not forget to pray for me. Good lunch and goodbye!
[01377-EN.02] [Original text: Italian] - Source: Vatican.va - Unofficial Translation