Sunday, March 14, 2021

FULL TEXT of Pope Francis "Do not forget that God always forgives, always, if we humbly ask for forgiveness." at Angelus with Prayer for Syria + Video



 POPE FRANCIS at the ANGELUS

Saint Peter's Square
Sunday, 14 March 2021

Dear brothers and sisters, Good morning!

On this fourth Sunday of Lent, the Eucharistic liturgy begins with this invitation: “Rejoice, Jerusalem...". (see Is 66:10). What is the reason for this joy? In the middle of Lent, what is the reason for this joy? Today’s Gospel tells us: God “so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (Jn 3:16). This joyful message is the heart of the Christian faith: God’s love found its summit in the gift of his Son to a weak and sinful humanity. He gave his Son to us, to all of us.

This is what appears in the nocturnal dialogue between Jesus and Nicodemus, a part of which is described in the same Gospel passage (see Jn 3:14-21). Nicodemus, like every member of the people of Israel, awaited the Messiah, identifying him as a strong man who would judge the world with power. Instead, Jesus challenges this expectation by presenting himself in three forms: the Son of man exalted on the cross; the Son of God sent into the world for salvation; and that of the light that distinguishes those who follow the truth from those who follow lies. Let us take a look at these three aspects: Son of man, Son of God, and light.

Jesus presents himself first of all as the Son of man (vv. 14-15). The text alludes to the account of the bronze serpent (see Nm 21: 4-9) which, by God's will, was mounted by Moses in the desert when the people were attacked by poisonous snakes; whoever had been bitten and looked at the bronze serpent was healed. Similarly, Jesus was lifted up on the cross and those who believe in him are healed of sin and live.

The second aspect is that of the Son of God (vv.16-18). God the Father loves humanity to the point of “giving” his Son: he gave him in the Incarnation and he gave him in handing him over to death. The purpose of God's gift is the eternal life of every person: in fact, God sends his Son into the world not to condemn it, but so that the world that it might be saved through Jesus. Jesus' mission is a mission of salvation, of salvation for everyone.

The third name that Jesus gives himself is “light” (vv. 19-21). The Gospel says: "The light has come into the world, but people have loved darkness more than light" (v. 19). The coming of Jesus into the world leads to a choice: whoever chooses darkness will face a judgment of condemnation, whoever chooses light will have a judgment of salvation. The judgement is always the consequence of the free choice of each person: whoever practices evil seeks the darkness, evil always hides, it covers itself. Whoever seeks the truth, that is, who practices what is good, comes to the light, illuminates the paths of life. Whoever walks in the light, whoever approaches the light, cannot but do good works. This is what we are called to do with greater dedication during Lent: to welcome the light into our conscience, to open our hearts to God's infinite love, to his mercy full of tenderness and goodness, to his forgiveness. Do not forget that God always forgives, always, if we humbly ask for forgiveness. It is enough just to ask for forgiveness, and he forgives. In this way we will find true joy and be able to rejoice in God's forgiveness, which regenerates and gives life.

May Mary Most Holy help us not to be afraid of letting ourselves be “thrown into crisis” by Jesus. It is a healthy crisis, for our healing: so that our joy may be full.


After the Angelus the Holy Father continued:

Dear brothers and sisters,

Ten years ago, the bloody conflict in Syria began, leading to one of the most serious humanitarian catastrophes of our time: an untold number of dead and wounded, millions of refugees, thousands missing, destruction, violence of all kinds and immense suffering for the entire population, especially the most vulnerable, such as children, women and the elderly. I renew my heartfelt appeal to the parties to the conflict to show signs of goodwill, so that a glimmer of hope may open up for the exhausted population. I also hope for a decisive and renewed commitment, constructive and in solidarity, on the part of the international community, so that, once the weapons have been laid down, the social fabric can be mended and reconstruction and economic recovery can begin. Let us all pray to the Lord that the great suffering in our beloved and tormented Syria may not be forgotten, and that our solidarity might revive hope. Let us pray together for our beloved and tormented Syria. Hail Mary

Next Friday, 19 March, Solemnity of Saint Joseph, will open the Amoris Laetitia Year of the Family: a special year to grow in family love. I call for a renewed and creative pastoral drive to place the family at the centre of the attention of both Church and society. I pray that every family may feel in its own home the living presence of the Holy Family of Nazareth, that it may fill our small domestic communities with sincere and generous love, a source of joy even in trials and difficulties.

I greet the boys and girls of the basketball team, accompanied by their families and their coaches, present today in the Square. Well done, carry on like this, keep going!

I warmly greet you all, dear faithful of Rome and dear pilgrims. And in particular, I greet the many Filipinos, who are celebrating five hundred years since the evangelisation of the Philippines. Best wishes to you! And onwards, with the joy of the Gospel!

I wish you all a blessed Sunday. Please, do not forget to pray for me. Enjoy your lunch, and arrivederci!

Stations of the Cross Explained a Powerful Prayer for LENT of Jesus' sufferings for Us - Easy GUIDE with VIDEO

The Stations of the Cross is a series of images showing the struggles of Jesus Christ from his condemnation to his crucifixion. They are especially prayed during Lent but can be said all year round. There are usually 14 images that are hung in order around a church or along a path. People walk from image to image, and stop at each "station" saying prayers and possibly reading scripture passages. This prayer is often held by groups or individually.
 
 Other names for the Stations of the Cross are the Via Dolorosa or Way of Sorrows, or, The Way. In Jerusalem, the Via Dolorosa is the actual path that Jesus walked, and the stations are the actual places where the events occurred.  St. Francis of Assisi started the tradition of moving from station to station although it was practiced less formerly before. In Lent, and on Good Friday, this practice is very popular but it is also prayed during the year.The number of stations varied throughout history; Pope Clement XII extended to all churches the right to have the stations. Ultimately, the stations are an act of love towards Jesus to thank him for the great sacrifices he made for love of us and to atone for our sins.
Here is the most common list of Stations with a short prayer used by Franciscan Missionaries:
 First Station - Jesus Condemned to Death

O Jesus!  so meek and uncomplaining, teach me resignation in trials.

Second Station Jesus Carries His Cross

My Jesus, this Cross should be mine, not Thine; my sins crucified Thee.

Third Station Our Lord Falls the First Time

O Jesus!  by this first fall, never let me fall into mortal sin.

Fourth Station Jesus Meets His Mother

O Jesus!  may no human tie, however dear, keep me from following the road of the Cross.

Fifth Station Simon the Cyrenean Helps Jesus Carry His Cross

Simon unwillingly assisted Thee; may I with patience suffer all for Thee.

Sixth Station Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus

O Jesus!  Thou didst imprint Thy sacred features upon Veronica's veil; stamp them also indelibly upon my heart.

Seventh Station The Second Fall of Jesus

By Thy second fall, preserve me, dear Lord, from relapse into sin.

Eighth Station Jesus Consoles the Women of Jerusalem

My greatest consolation would be to hear Thee say: "Many sins are forgiven thee, because thou hast loved much."

Ninth Station Third Fall of Jesus

O Jesus!  when weary upon life's long journey, be Thou my strength and my perseverance.

Tenth Station Jesus Stripped of His Garments

My soul has been robbed of its robe of innocence; clothe me, dear Jesus, with the garb of penance and contrition.

Eleventh Station Jesus Nailed to the Cross

Thou didst forgive Thy enemies; my God, teach me to forgive injuries and FORGET them.

Twelfth Station Jesus Dies on the Cross

Thou art dying, my Jesus, but Thy Sacred Heart still throbs with love for Thy sinful children.

Thirteenth Station Jesus Taken Down from the Cross

Receive me into thy arms, O Sorrowful Mother; and obtain for me perfect contrition for my sins.

Fourteenth Station Jesus Laid in the Sepulchre

When I receive Thee into my heart in Holy Communion, O Jesus, make it a fit abiding place for Thy adorable Body.  Amen.

15. Resurrection of Jesus is sometimes included as a fifteenth station.
Common prayers at each Station:
(while genuflecting)

P/ We adore thee O Christ and we praise thee.

C/Becuase by thy Holy cross thou hast redeemed the world.

And,  at each station:

Say 1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary and 1 Glory Be prayer.
Indulgences are: 
  • A plenary indulgence every time the devotion is completed.
  • An additional plenary indulgence if one receives Holy Communion on the day.
  • Also an additional plenary indulgence if one performs the devotion ten times and receives Holy Communion within a month after so doing.
  • A partial indulgence of ten years for every Station made if one was not able to finish the Stations.
    The conditions for gaining them are
    • Walking from Station to Station when making the Way of the Cross privately; when making it publicly, it suffices for the priest with the altar boys to do so. Meditate at each Station on the sufferings of our Lord.

    • These two conditions are essential. No oral prayers are prescribed; yet they are profitable.
    • A plenary indulgence* is granted to the faithful for making the Stations of the Cross under the normal conditions: one is free from all attachment from sin


  • one receives the Sacraments of Penance and the Eucharist (7 days before or after)
  • one prays for the intentions of the Pope (1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary and 1 Glory Be) 
  • Pope Francis says "God loves you so much that he gave you his entire life." FULL TEXT Homily + VIDEO at Holy Mass on 500th Anniversary of Evangelization in the Philippines


     

    HOLY MASS FOR THE 500th ANNIVERSARY OF THE EVANGELIZATION OF THE PHILIPPINES

    HOMILY OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS

    St. Peter’s Basilica
    Sunday, 14 March 2021

    “God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son” (Jn 3:16).  This is the heart of the Gospel; this is the source of our joy. The Gospel message is not an idea or a doctrine. It is Jesus himself: the Son whom the Father has given us so that we might have life. The source of our joy is not some lovely theory about how to find happiness, but the actual experience of being accompanied and loved throughout the journey of life. “God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son”.

     

     Brothers and sisters, let us dwell on these two thoughts for a moment: “God so loved” and “God gave”.

    First of all, God so loved. Jesus’ words to Nicodemus – a Jewish elder who wanted to know the Master – help us to see the true face of God. He has always looked at us with love, and for the sake of love, he came among us in the flesh of his Son. In Jesus, he went in search of us when we were lost. In Jesus, he came to raise us up when we fell. In Jesus, he wept with us and healed our wounds. In Jesus, he blessed our life forever. The Gospel tells us that whoever believes in him will not perish (ibid.). In Jesus, God spoke the definitive word about our life: you are not lost, you are loved. Loved forever.

    If hearing the Gospel and practicing our faith don’t enlarge our hearts and make us grasp the immensity of God’s love – maybe because we prefer a glum, sorrowful and self-absorbed religiosity – then this is a sign that we need to stop and listen once more to the preaching of the Good News. God loves you so much that he gave you his entire life. He is not a god who looks down upon us from on high, indifferent, but a loving Father who becomes part of our history. He is not a god who takes pleasure in the death of sinners, but a Father concerned that that no one be lost. He is not a god who condemns, but a Father who saves us with the comforting embrace of his love.

    We now come to the second aspect: God “gave” his Son. Precisely because he loves us so much, God gives himself; he offers us his life. Those who love always go out of themselves. Don’t forget this: those who love go out of themselves. Love always offers itself, gives itself, expends itself. That is the power of love: it shatters the shell of our selfishness, breaks out of our carefully constructed security zones, tears down walls and overcomes fears, so as to give freely of itself. That is what loves does: it gives itself. And that is how lovers are: they prefer to risk self-giving over self-preservation.  That is why God comes to us: because he “so loved” us. His love is so great that he cannot fail to give himself to us. When the people were attacked by poisonous serpents in the desert, God told Moses to make the bronze serpent. In Jesus, however, exalted on the cross, he himself came to heal us of the venom of death; he became sin to save us from sin. God does not love us in words: he gives us his Son, so that whoever looks at him and believes in him will be saved (cf. Jn 3:14-15).

    The more we love, the more we become capable of giving. That is also the key to understanding our life. It is wonderful to meet people who love one another and share their lives in love. We can say about them what we say about God: they so love each other that they give their lives. It is not only what we can make or earn that matters; in the end, it is the love we are able to give.

    This is the source of joy! God so loved the world that he gave his Son. Here we see the meaning of the Church’s invitation this Sunday: “Rejoice... Rejoice and be glad, you who mourn: find contentment and consolation” (Entrance Antiphon; cf. Is 66:10-11). I think of what we saw a week ago in Iraq: a people who had suffered so much rejoiced and were glad, thanks to God and his merciful love.

    Sometimes we look for joy where it is not to be found: in illusions that vanish, in dreams of glory, in the apparent security of material possessions, in the cult of our image, and in so many other things. But life teaches us that true joy comes from realizing that we are loved gratuitously, knowing that we are not alone, having someone who shares our dreams and who, when we experience shipwreck, is there to help us and lead us to a safe harbor.

    Dear brothers and sisters, five hundred years have passed since the Christian message first arrived in the Philippines. You received the joy of the Gospel: the good news that God so loved us that he gave his Son for us. And this joy is evident in your people. We see it in your eyes, on your faces, in your songs and in your prayers. In the joy with which you bring your faith to other lands. I have often said that here in Rome Filipino women are “smugglers” of faith! Because wherever they go to work, they sow the faith. It is part of your genes, a blessed “infectiousness” that I urge you to preserve. Keeping bringing the faith, the good news you received five hundred years ago, to others. I want to thank you, then, for the joy you bring to the whole world and to our Christian communities. I think, as I mentioned, of the many beautiful experiences in families here in Rome – but also throughout the world – where your discreet and hardworking presence became a testimony of faith. In the footsteps of Mary and Joseph, for God loves to bring the joy of faith through humble, hidden, courageous and persevering service.

    On this very important anniversary for God’s holy people in the Philippines, I also want to urge you to persevere in the work of evangelization – not proselytism, which is something else. The Christian proclamation that you have received needs constantly to be brought to others. The Gospel message of God’s closeness cries out to be expressed in love for our brothers and sisters. God desires that no one perish. For this reason, he asks the Church to care for those who are hurting and living on the fringes of life. God so loves us that he gives himself to us, and the Church has this same mission. The Church is called not to judge but to welcome; not to make demands, but to sow seeds; not to condemn, but to bring Christ who is our salvation.

    I know that this is the pastoral program of your Church: a missionary commitment that involves everyone and reaches everyone. Never be discouraged as you walk this path. Never be afraid to proclaim the Gospel, to serve and to love. With your joy, you will help people to say of the Church too: “she so loved the world!” How beautiful and attractive is a Church that loves the world without judging, a Church that gives herself to the world. May it be so, dear brothers and sisters, in the Philippines and in every part of the earth.

    FULL TEXT Source: Vatican.va - Image Screenshot