Sunday, May 24, 2020

Pope Francis says "The feast of Ascension tells us that Jesus, although he still and always among us" with Prayer - Full Text + Video

Apostolic Palace Library
Sunday, 24 May 2020

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!
Today, in Italy and in other countries, the solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord is celebrated. The passage from the Gospel (cf. Mt 28 : 16-20) shows us the Apostles who gather in Galilee, "on the mountain that Jesus had indicated to them" (v. 16). Here is the last meeting of the risen Lord with his own, on the mountain. The "mountain" has a strong symbolic, evocative charge. On a mountain Jesus proclaimed the Beatitudes (cf Mt 5,1-12); in the mountains he would retire to pray (cf. Mt 14:23); there it welcomed the crowds and healed the sick (cf Mt 15:29). But this time, on the mountain, it is no longer the Master who acts and teaches, but it is the Risen One who asks the disciples to act and announce, entrusting them with the mandate to continue his work.
It invests them of the mission among all people. He says: "Go therefore and make disciples of all peoples, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you" (vv. 19-20). The contents of the mission entrusted to the Apostles are these: to announce, baptize, teach and walk on the path traced by the Master, that is, the living Gospel. This message of salvation implies first of all the duty of witness - without testimony it cannot be announced - to which we, today's disciples, are also called to account for our faith. Faced with such a demanding task, and thinking of our weaknesses, we feel inadequate, as the Apostles themselves certainly felt. But don't be discouraged,
This promise ensures the constant and consoling presence of Jesus among us. But how is this presence realized? Through his Spirit, who leads the Church to walk in history as every man's road companion. That Spirit who, sent by Christ and the Father, works the remission of sins and sanctifies all those who, repentant, open themselves with trust to his gift. With the promise of staying with us until the end of time, Jesus inaugurates the style of his presence in the world as the Risen One. Jesus is present in the world but with another style, the style of the Risen One, that is, a presence that is revealed in the Word, in the Sacraments, in the constant and interior action of the Holy Spirit. The feast of Ascension tells us that Jesus, although he ascended to Heaven to dwell gloriously on the right hand of the Father, is still and always among us:
May the Virgin Mary accompany our journey with her maternal protection: from her we learn the sweetness and courage to be witnesses in the world of the risen Lord.

After the Regina Caeli
Dear brothers and sisters,
let us join spiritually with the Catholic faithful in China, who today celebrate, with particular devotion, the feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Help of Christians and Patroness of China, venerated in the Sheshan shrine in Shanghai. We entrust the Pastors and faithful of the Catholic Church in that great country to the guidance and protection of our Heavenly Mother, so that they may be strong in faith and firm in fraternal union, joyful witnesses and promoters of charity and fraternal hope and good citizens.
Dear Catholic brothers and sisters in China, I wish to assure you that the universal Church, of which you are an integral part, shares your hopes and supports you in the trials of life. It accompanies you with prayer for a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit, so that the light and beauty of the Gospel, the power of God for the salvation of whoever believes, can shine in you. In expressing once again my great and sincere affection to you all, I impart a special Apostolic Blessing to you. May Our Lady always guard you!
Finally, we entrust to the intercession of Mary Help of Christians all the disciples of the Lord and all the people of good will who, in this difficult time, in every part of the world work with passion and commitment for peace, for dialogue between nations, for the service to the poor, for the custody of creation and for the victory of humanity over every disease of the body, heart and soul.
Today marks the World Day of Social Communications, dedicated this year to the theme of storytelling . May this event encourage us to tell and share constructive stories, which help us understand that we are all part of a bigger story than we are and we can look to the future with hope, if we really take care of each other as brothers.
Today, on the day of Mary Help of Christians, I offer an affectionate and cordial greeting to the Salesians and the Salesians. I remember with gratitude the spiritual formation I received from the children of Don Bosco.
Today I should have gone to Acerra, to support the faith of that population and the commitment of those who work to counter the drama of pollution in the so-called Land of fires. My visit has been postponed; however, I send my greeting, my blessing and my encouragement to the Bishop, to the priests, to the families and to the entire diocesan community, waiting to meet you as soon as possible. I'll go there, sure!
And today is also the fifth anniversary of the Encyclical Laudato si ' , with which we have tried to draw attention to the cry of the Earth and the poor. Thanks to the initiative of the Dicastery for the Integral Human Development Service, the " Laudato si ' Week ", which we have just celebrated, will blossom into a special Anniversary Year of Laudato si' , a special Year to reflect on the Encyclical, from 24 May this year until May 24 next year. I invite all people of goodwill to join, to take care of our common home and our most fragile brothers and sisters. The prayer dedicated to this year will be published on the website It will be nice to pray to her.
I wish everyone a good Sunday. Please don't forget to pray for me. Have a good lunch and goodbye.

Loving God,
Creator of heaven, earth and all they contain.
Open our minds and touch our hearts,
so that we can be part of creation, your gift.
Be present to the needy in these difficult times,
especially the poorest and most vulnerable.
Help us show creative solidarity in addressing
the consequences of this global pandemic.
Make us courageous in embracing the changes aimed
at seeking the common good.
Now more than ever, that we can feel that we are all
interconnected and interdependent.
Make it possible for us to listen and respond
to the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.
The current sufferings can be the pains of giving birth
to a more fraternal and sustainable world.

Under the loving gaze of Mary Help of Christians,
we pray for Christ our Lord.
FULL TEXT + Image Source: -  a Translation from the Original Italian

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