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The Holy See

Pope Francis 1st Anniversary

ANGELUS Sunday, 23 February 2014



Saint Peter’s Square
Sunday, 23 February 2014


Dear Brothers and Sisters, Good morning!

In this Sunday’s second Reading, St Paul states: “Let no one boast of men. For all things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future, all are yours; and you are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s (1 Cor 3:23). Why does the Apostle say this? Because the problem he is facing is that of divisions in the community of Corinth, where groups had formed around various preachers whom they considered their heads; they said: “I belong to Paul, I belong to Apollos, I belong to Cephas…” (1:12). St Paul explains that this way of thinking is mistaken, for the community does not belong to the Apostles, but rather it is they — the Apostles — who belong to the community; but the community as a whole belongs to Christ.

It follows from this belonging that, in Christian communities — dioceses, parishes, associations, movements — differences cannot contradict the fact that by our Baptism we all have the same dignity: in Jesus Christ, we are all children of God. And this is our dignity: in Jesus Christ we are children of God! Those who have received a ministry to lead, preach and administer the Sacraments should not consider themselves as possessing special powers, as masters; rather, they should place themselves at the service of the community, helping it to pursue the path of holiness with joy.

The Church today entrusts the witness of this style of pastoral life to the new cardinals, with whom I celebrated Holy Mass this morning. Let us all greet the new cardinals with an applause. Greetings to all! Yesterday’s Consistory and today’s Eucharistic celebration offer us a very valuable opportunity to experience the catholicity, the universality of the Church, which is well represented by the various backgrounds of the members of the College of Cardinals gathered in close communion around the Successor of Peter. And may the Lord also grant us the grace to work for the unity of the Church, to build this unity, because unity is more important than conflicts! The unity of the Church and of Christ; conflicts are problems that are not always from Christ.

May the liturgical and celebratory moments we have had the opportunity to experience over the course of the last two days strengthen us all in faith, and in love for Christ and his Church! I invite you to support these Pastors and to assist them by your prayer, so that they may always zealously guide the people entrusted to them by manifesting the Lord’s tenderness and love. How much prayer a bishop, a cardinal, a pope needs in order to help and lead forward the people of God! I say “help”, that is serve the People of God, for the vocation of the bishop, cardinal and pope is precisely this: to be a servant, to serve in the name of Christ. Pray for us, that we might be good servants: good servants, not good masters! All of us together, bishops, priests, consecrated people and lay faithful must offer the witness of a Church that is faithful to Christ, animated by the desire to serve the brethren, and ready to go out with prophetic courage to meet the expectations and spiritual needs of the men and women of our time. May Our Lady accompany us and protect us along this path.

ANGELUS, 16 February 2014

Dear brothers and sisters , good morning!

The Gospel for this Sunday is still part of the ” Sermon on the Mount ,” the first great preaching of Jesus Today’s topic is the attitude of Jesus in relation to the Jewish Law . He says : “I do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets : I came not to abolish but to fulfill” (Matt. 5:17). So Jesus does not want to cancel the commandments that the Lord gave through Moses , but he wants to take them to their fullest. And he immediately adds that this ” fulfillment” of the Law requires a higher justice , an observance more authentic. He says to his disciples: “Unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” ( Mt 5:20) .

But what does this ” fulfillment ” of the Law ? And this superior justice in what way? Jesus answers us with a few examples. Jesus was practical , always spoke with examples to make himself understood . Start from the fifth commandment of the Decalogue : “You have heard that it was said to those of old ,” Thou shalt not kill ” … But I say to you , whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment ” (vv. 21-22) . With this, Jesus reminds us that words can kill ! When you say a person who has the tongue of a snake , what does it mean? That his words kill ! Therefore, not only must not attempt on the life of others, but even bestow upon him the poison of anger and hit him with slander . Nor speak ill of him. We get to talk : talk, too, can kill, why kill the reputation of the people ! It is so bad chat ! At first it may seem like a nice thing , even fun, like a sucking candy . But in the end , it fills my heart with bitterness , and even poison us. I tell you the truth , I am convinced that if each of us did the intention to avoid the chatter eventually become holy ! It’s a nice street ! We want to become saints? Yes or no ? [ Steps : Yes ! ] We want to live attached to chatter as usual ? Yes or no ? [ Square : No! ] So we agree : no talk ! Jesus offers to those who follow the perfection of love : a love whose only measure is to not have far to go beyond all calculation . The love of neighbor is a fundamental attitude so that Jesus comes to say that our relationship with God can not be honest if you do not want to make peace with our neighbor. It says: “If therefore you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar , it should be ‘ first be reconciled to your brother ” ( vv. 23-24). Therefore, we are called to be reconciled with our brothers before show our devotion to the Lord in prayer.

From all this it is clear that Jesus does not care about just to observe and regulate the outward conduct . He goes to the root of the law , focusing on the intention and then on the human heart , from where they originate our actions good or evil . To get good and honest behavior are not enough legal rules , but we need the deep motivations , expression of a hidden wisdom , the Wisdom of God , which can be received through the Holy Spirit . And we, through faith in Christ, we open ourselves to the action of the Spirit, which enables us to experience God’s love .

In the light of this teaching, every precept reveals its full meaning as a requirement of love, and all come together in the greatest commandment : to love God with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself.

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