Pope Francis says "Every day, I pray for peace in Palestine and Israel" and "Jesus is the Good Shepherd, who sacrificed his life for us" FULL TEXT + Video - Vatican

 The Pope's words at the recitation of the "Regina Caeli", 04.21.2024
At 12 noon today, the Fourth Sunday of Easter, the Holy Father Francis appeared at the window of his study in the Vatican Apostolic Palace to recite the Regina Caeli with the approximately 15 thousand faithful and pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square.
These are the words of the Pope in introducing the Marian prayer:
Dear brothers and sisters, happy Sunday!
This Sunday is dedicated to Jesus the Good Shepherd. In today's Gospel (see John 10:11-18) Jesus says: "The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep" (v. 11) and insists on this aspect, so much so that he repeats it three times (see verses 11.15 .17). But in what sense, I ask myself, does the shepherd give his life for the sheep?

Being a shepherd, especially in the time of Christ, was not just a job, it was a whole life: it wasn't a question of having a temporary job, but of sharing entire days, and even nights, with the sheep, of living - I would like to say – in symbiosis with them. In fact, Jesus explains that he is not a mercenary, who does not care about the sheep (see verse 13), but the one who knows them (see verse 14): He knows the sheep. It is like this, He, the Lord, shepherd of us all, knows us, each of us, calls us by name and, when we get lost, he searches for us until he finds us again (see Luke 15:4-5). More: Jesus is not just a good shepherd who shares the life of the flock; Jesus is the Good Shepherd, who sacrificed his life for us and, resurrected, gave us his Spirit.
This is what the Lord wants to tell us with the image of the Good Shepherd: not only that He is the guide, the Head of the flock, but above all that he thinks of each of us, and thinks of us as the love of his life. Let's think about this: I am important to Christ, He thinks of me, I am irreplaceable, I am worth the infinite price of his life. And this is not a way of saying: He truly gave his life for me, he died and rose again for me. Why? Because he loves me and finds a beauty in me that I often don't see.
Brothers and sisters, how many people today consider themselves inadequate or even wrong! How many times do we think that our value depends on the objectives we manage to achieve, on our success in the eyes of the world, on the judgments of others! And how many times do we end up throwing ourselves away for small things! Today Jesus tells us that we are always worth a lot to Him. And so, to rediscover ourselves, the first thing to do is to put ourselves in his presence, let ourselves be welcomed and lifted by the loving arms of our Good Shepherd.
Brothers and sisters, let us ask ourselves: do I know how to find a moment every day to embrace the certainty that gives value to my life? Do I know how to find a moment of prayer, adoration, praise, to be in the presence of Christ and let myself be caressed by Him? Brother, sister, the Good Shepherd tells us that if you do it, you will rediscover the secret of life: you will remember that He gave his life for you, for me, for all of us. And that we are all important to Him, each of us and everyone.
May Our Lady help us to find in Jesus what is essential for life.
After the Regina Caeli
Dear brothers and sisters!
Today we celebrate the World Day of Prayer for Vocations, which has as its theme "Called to sow hope and build peace". It is a beautiful opportunity to rediscover the Church as a community characterized by a polyphony of charisms and vocations at the service of the Gospel. In this context I cordially extend my greeting to the new priests of the diocese of Rome, who were ordained yesterday afternoon in St. Peter's Basilica. Let's pray for them!
I continue to follow with concern, and even pain, the situation in the Middle East. I renew the appeal not to give in to the logic of claims and war; instead, let the paths of dialogue and diplomacy prevail, which can do a lot. I pray every day for peace in Palestine and Israel and I hope that those two peoples can soon stop suffering. And let's not forget the tormented Ukraine, the tormented Ukraine that suffers so much from the war.
With pain I learned the news of the death, in an accident, of Father Matteo Pettinari, a young Consolata missionary in Ivory Coast, known as the "tireless missionary", who left a great testimony of generous service. We pray for his soul.
I extend a cordial welcome to all of you, Romans and pilgrims from Italy and many countries. I warmly welcome the Apostoline Sisters: thank you for your joyful service to the pastoral care of vocations! I greet the faithful of Viterbo, Brescia, Alba Adriatica and Arezzo; as well as the Galatina Maglie and Terre d'Otranto Rotary Club, the young people of Capocroce, the children of the Confirmation of Azzano Mella and the parish of Sant'Agnese in Rome.
I wish you all a good Sunday. And I greet the boys of the Immaculate Conception, well done! Please don't forget to pray for me. Have a nice lunch and see you!