Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Pope Francis explains "To give himself to us, God often chooses unthinkable paths...of our tears, of our defeats." Full text/Video


GENERAL AUDIENCE with Pope Francis- Full Video at Bottom of Post

Paul VI Hall
Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Catechesis on the Beatitudes: 1. Introduction

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

Today we begin a series of catecheses on the Beatitudes in the Gospel of Matthew (5.1-11). This text which opens the "Sermon on the Mount" and which has illuminated the lives of believers also for many non-believers. It is difficult not to be touched by these words of Jesus, and the desire to understand them and accept them more fully is right. The Beatitudes contain the Christian's "identity card" - this is our identity card -, because they outline the face of Jesus himself, his lifestyle.
Now let's frame these words of Jesus globally; in the next catecheses we will comment on the individual Beatitudes, one by one.

First of all, it is important how the proclamation of this message came about: Jesus, seeing the crowds who follow him, climbs the gentle slope surrounding the lake of Galilee, sits down and, addressing the disciples, announces the Beatitudes. So the message is addressed to the disciples, but on the horizon there are the crowds, that is, all humanity. It is a message for all humanity.

Furthermore, the "mountain" refers to Sinai, where God gave Moses the Commandments. Jesus begins to teach a new law: to be poor, to be meek, to be merciful ... These "new commandments" are much more than norms. In fact, Jesus does not impose anything, but reveals the way of happiness - his way - by repeating the word "blessed" eight times.

Each bliss is made up of three parts. At first there is always the word "blessed"; then comes the situation in which the blessed find themselves: poverty of spirit, affliction, hunger and thirst for justice, and so on; finally there is the reason for bliss, introduced by the conjunction "why": "Blessed are these because, blessed are they because ..." So are the eight Beatitudes and it would be nice to learn them by heart to repeat them, to have this law in your mind and heart that Jesus gave us.

Let us pay attention to this fact: the reason for bliss is not the current situation but the new condition that the blessed receive as a gift from God: "because of them is the kingdom of heaven", "because they will be comforted", "because they will inherit the earth ", and so on.

In the third element, which is precisely the reason for happiness, Jesus often uses a passive future: "they will be comforted", "they will inherit the earth", "they will be satisfied", "they will be forgiven", "they will be called children of God".

But what does the word "blessed" mean? Why does each of the eight Beatitudes begin with the word "blessed"? The original term does not indicate someone who has a full belly or is doing well, but is a person who is in a condition of grace, who progresses in the grace of God and who progresses on the path of God: patience, poverty, the service to others, consolation ... Those who progress in these things are happy and will be blessed.

To give himself to us, God often chooses unthinkable paths, perhaps those of our limits, of our tears, of our defeats. It is the Easter joy of which the Eastern brothers speak, that which has the stigmata but is alive, has gone through death and has experienced the power of God. The Beatitudes always bring you joy; they are the way to joy. It will do us good to take the Gospel of Matthew today, chapter five, verse one to eleven and read the Beatitudes - perhaps a few more times during the week - to understand this road so beautiful, so sure of the happiness that the Lord offers us.

Greetings in Various Languages:

Je salue cordialement les pèlerins de langue française, les groupes venus de Belgique et de France, particulièrement les jeunes venus de Paris et de Saint Cloud. Les Béatitudes nous enseignent que Dieu, pour se donner à nous, choisit souvent des chemins impensables, ceux de nos limites, de nos larmes, de nos défaites. Demandons au Seigneur l’esprit des Béatitudes afin que nous puissions faire l’expérience de la puissance de Dieu qui se manifeste dans nos souffrances quotidiennes. Que Dieu vous bénisse !
[Saluto cordialmente i pellegrini di lingua francese, i gruppi di Belgio e Francia, in particolare i giovani di Parigi e di Saint Cloud. Le Beatitudini ci insegnano che Dio, per donarsi a noi, spesso sceglie percorsi impensabili, quelli dei nostri limiti, delle nostre lacrime, delle nostre sconfitte. Chiediamo al Signore lo Spirito delle Beatitudini in modo da poter sperimentare il potere di Dio, manifestato nelle nostre sofferenze quotidiane. Dio vi benedica!]
I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, especially the groups from the United States of America. Upon all of you and your families, I invoke the joy and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ. May God bless you!
Von Herzen grüße ich die Pilger deutscher Sprache. Der Herr schärfe unseren Blick für das, was im Leben wirklich zählt, seine Liebe, die uns allein glücklich zu machen vermag. Schreiten wir mit seiner Gnade unaufhörlich auf dem Weg der Seligpreisungen voran. Möge der Heilige Geist uns jederzeit führen.
[Saluto di cuore i pellegrini di lingua tedesca. Il Signore affini la nostra sensibilità per ciò che conta realmente nella vita, il suo amore che solo ci può rendere felici. Con la sua grazia, progrediamo incessamente nel cammino della beatitudini. Lo Spirito Santo sia la nostra guida in ogni momento.]
Saludo cordialmente a los peregrinos de lengua española, venidos de España y de Latinoamérica. De modo particular saludo a los alumnos y profesores del Colegio San Ildefonso de Almería. Los animo a leer detenidamente el texto de la Bienaventuranzas e pedir a Dios la gracia para vivirlas en medio del mundo en el que nos encontramos, su vivencia nos otorgará una profunda alegría y paz. Que Dios los bendiga.
Saludo cordialmente a los peregrinos de lengua española, venidos de España y de Latinoamérica. De modo especial saludo a los alumnos y a los profesores del Colegio San Ildefonso de Almería. Los animo, los animo a leer detenidamente el texto de la Bienaventuranzas. Hoy por ejemplo, tómense un ratito, capítulo quinto de San Mateo, versículo 1 al 11, y lo lean, léanlo y si les gusta también mañana, léanlo, les va hacer bien; y pidan a Dios la gracia para poder vivirlas en medio del mundo en que nos encontramos. Y esto nos va a dar una gran alegría. Que Dios los bendiga.
[Dear Portuguese-speaking pilgrims, welcome! In greeting you all, I invite you to ask the Lord for a great faith to look at reality with the gaze of God, and a great charity to bring people together with his merciful heart. Trust God, like the Virgin Mary! May the blessing of the Lord come upon you and your families.]
أُرحّبُ بالحجّاجِ الناطقينَ باللغةِ العربية، وخاصةً بالقادمينَ منالشرق الأوسط. أيّها الإخوةُ والأخواتُ الأعزّاء، إن عيش التطويبات لا يتطلّب أعمالًا باهرة. لننظر إلى يسوع: لم يترك شيئًا مكتوبًا ولم يبنِ شيئًا مهيبًا. وعندما قال لنا كيف ينبغي أن نعيش، لم يطلب منا أن نقوم بأعمال كبيرة أو بأفعال فائقة الطبيعة، بل طلب منا أن نحقِّق تحفةً فنيّة واحدة، وهي حياتنا. فالتطويبات إذًا هي خريطة حياة: لا تتطلّب أعمالاً خارقة وإنما أن نتشبّه بيسوع في الحياة اليوميّة. ليبارككُم الرب!
[I warmly welcome the Arabic-speaking pilgrims, especially those from the Middle East! Dear brothers and sisters, living the Beatitudes does not require striking gestures. Let's look at Jesus: he didn't leave anything in writing, he didn't build anything impressive. And when he told us how to live he did not ask to raise great works or to report us by making extraordinary deeds. He asked us to make only one work of art: that of our life. The Beatitudes are then a map of life: they do not ask for superhuman actions, but to imitate Jesus in everyday life. The Lord bless you!]
Serdecznie pozdrawiam polskich pielgrzymów. Drodzy bracia i siostry, w niedzielę, w uroczystość Ofiarowania Pańskiego obchodzimy Dzień Życia Konsekrowanego. Módlmy się za zakonnice i zakonników, którzy oddają siebie Bogu i braciom w codziennej posłudze według swoich charyzmatów, aby zawsze byli wiernymi świadkami zbawczej miłości Chrystusa. Módlmy się również o nowe powołania do życia konsekrowanego. Z serca błogosławię wam, waszym rodzinom i wspólnotom. Niech będzie pochwalony Jezus Chrystus!
[I cordially greet the Polish pilgrims. Dear brothers and sisters, Sunday, on the solemnity of the Presentation of the Lord, the Day of Consecrated Life is celebrated. Let us pray for the men and women religious who dedicate themselves to God and to their brothers and sisters in daily service, according to their own charism, so that they will always be faithful witnesses of Christ's saving love. We also pray for new vocations to consecrated life. I cordially bless you, your families and your communities. Praised be Jesus Christ!]
* * *
I cordially welcome the Italian-speaking pilgrims. In particular, I greet the Consolata Missionaries; and the parishes, in particular those of Castel del Monte and Andria.

I also greet the schools, especially that of Pescara and the Baratz Choir, of Villassunta Baratz of Sassari.

Lastly, I greet the young, the elderly, the sick and newlyweds. The example of Saint John Bosco's holiness, which we remember next Friday as Father and Master of youth, leads above all you, dear young people, to carry out your future projects, not excluding the plan that God has for each one. Let us pray to Saint John Bosco for everyone to find his way in life, what God wants for us.

Full Text + Image Source: Vatican.va - UnOfficial Translation - 

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