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03 2020



Pope Francis Angelus 29.03.20
Pope Francis Talks about Restoring Life where there is Death

Lazarus

The Gospel of this fifth Sunday of Lent is that of the resurrection of Lazarus (cf. John 11:1-45).  
In the midst of grief, continue to have faith, even if death seems to have won. Remove the stone from your heart! Let the Word of God restore life where there is death.
Even today Jesus repeats to us: "Take away the stone." God did not create us for the tomb, he created us for life, beautiful, good, joyful. But "death has entered the world through the devil's envy"(Wis 2:24), says the Book of Wisdom, and Jesus Christ has come to free us from its bonds.
Therefore, we are called to remove the stones of all that it smacks of death: for example, the hypocrisy with which faith is lived, is death; destructive criticism of others is death; offense, slander, is death; the marginalization of the poor, is death. The Lord asks us to remove these stones from our hearts, and then life will flourish again around us.

May each of us be close to those who are in difficulty, becoming for them a reflection of God's love and tenderness, which frees us from death and makes life




Pope Francis  General Audience 25.03.20  
Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord - the value of human life 

Annunciation of the Lord

Twenty-five years ago, on this same date of 25 March, which in the Church is the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord, St. John Paul II promulgated the encyclical Evangelium Vitae, on the value and inviolability of human life.

Today, we find ourselves reviving this teaching in the context of a pandemic that threatens human life and the world economy. A situation that makes the words with which the encyclical begins feel even more challenging. Here they are: "The Gospel of life is at the heart of Jesus' message. Welcomed by the Church every day with love, it must be proclaimed with courageous fidelity as a good news story to people of all ages and cultures"  

 And I think with gratitude of the silent testimony of so many people who, in various ways, are caring for the sick, the elderly, those who are alone and most destitute. They live the Gospel of life, like Mary who, after accepting the angel's announcement, went to help her cousin Elizabeth who needed her. 

In fact, the life we are called to promote and defend is not an abstract concept, but always manifests itself in a person in the flesh: a newly conceived child, a poor outcast, a sick person alone and discouraged or in a terminal state, one who has lost his job or can't find work, a migrant rejected or ghettoized... Life manifests itself in concrete people.




Pope Francis Angelus 22.03.20   

Light

At the centre of the liturgy of this fourth Sunday of Lent is the theme of light. The Gospel (cf. John 9:1-41) tells the story of the man blind from birth, to whom Jesus gives sight. This miraculous sign is confirmation of Jesus' affirmation of : "I am the light of the world" (v. 5), the light that illuminates our darkness. This is who Jesus is. 

He operates illumination on two levels: a physical one and a spiritual one: the blind man first receives the sight of the eyes and then is led to faith in the "Son of Man" (v. 35), that is, in Jesus. His path of enlightenment is a metaphor for the path of liberation from sin to which we are called. Sin is like a dark veil that covers our face and prevents us from clearly seeing ourselves and the world; the Lord's forgiveness takes away this blanket of shadow and darkness and gives us new light. The Lent we are living is an opportune and valuable time to approach the Lord, asking for His mercy.   

But it is not enough to receive light, it is necessary to become light. Each of us is called to receive the divine light in order to manifest it with our whole life. Be a child of light; for the fruit of light consists in all goodness, justice, and truth"(Eph 5:8-9). The seed of new life placed in us in Baptism is like a spark of a fire, which purifies us first, burning the evil that we have in our hearts, and allows us to shine and illuminate. With the light of Jesus.
 




Pope Francis  General Audience 18.03.20 
Catechesis on the Beatitudes - Blessed are the merciful, because they will find mercy

Mercy

Today we dwell on the fifth Beatitude, which says: "Blessed are the merciful, because they will find mercy"(Mt 5:7).
In this Beatitude there is a peculiarity: it is the only one in which the cause and the fruit of happiness coincide, mercy. Those who exercise mercy will find mercy. 
This theme of the reciprocity of forgiveness is not only present in this Beatitude, but is repeated in the Gospel. And how could it be otherwise? Mercy is God's very heart!  
"If you in fact forgive others for their faults, your Father who is in heaven will forgive you too; but if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions"(Mt 6:14-15). 
There are two things that cannot be separated: the forgiveness given and the forgiveness received. But so many people are in difficulty, they can't forgive. So often the evil received is so great that being able to forgive seems like climbing a very high mountain: a huge effort; and one thinks: you can't, you can't. We alone cannot, we need the grace of God, we must ask for it.  
We're all indebted. All. To God, who is so generous, and to our brothers and sisters. Every person knows that he or she is not the father or mother they should be, the husband or wife, the brother or sister that they should be. We are all "deficient" in life. And we need mercy. We know that we too have done evil, there is always something missing from the good that we should have done. 
Therefore God precedes us and forgives us first. By receiving his forgiveness, we become capable in turn of forgiving. Mercy is not a dimension among others, but it is the centre of Christian life: there is no Christianity without mercy.  


Pope Francis Angelus 08.03.20 

The Transfiguration  

Transfiguration

Jesus does not choose according to our criteria, but according to His plan of love. Jesus' love has no measure: it is love, and He chooses with that design of love. It is a free, unconditional choice, a free initiative, a divine friendship that asks for nothing in return. And as He called those three disciples, so even today he calls some to be close to Him, so that He can bear witness. Being witnesses of Jesus is a gift that we do not deserve: we may feel inadequate, but we cannot back out with the excuse of our incapacity.

We have not been on Mount Tabor, we have not seen the face of Jesus shining like the sun with our own eyes. However, the Word of Salvation has also been given to us, faith has been given to us and we have experienced, in different ways, the joy of meeting Jesus. Jesus also says to us: "Stand up and do not be afraid"(Mt 17:7). 

In this world, marked by selfishness and greed, God's light is obscured by the concerns of everyday life. We often say: I do not have time to pray, I am not able to carry out  a service in the parish, to respond to the requests of others... But we must not forget that the Baptism we have received has made us witnesses, not because of our own capacity, but because of the gift of the Spirit.



Pope Francis Angelus 01.03.20 

Temptations and the devil  

Temptations

Jesus, after having been baptised in the Jordan River, "was led by the Spirit into the desert, to be tempted by the devil". He is preparing to begin his mission of proclaiming the Kingdom of Heaven. He does so with a forty-day fast. This is the beginning of Lent. 

At the end of this period of fasting, the tempter, the devil, breaks in, and three times tries to put Jesus to the test. Jesus does not dialogue with the devil. Jesus responds to the devil with the Word of God, not by His own words.

In temptation, we often begin to dialogue with temptation, to dialogue with the devil: "Yes, but I may do this..., then I confess, then this, that one...". Never dialogue with the devil.  Even today Satan breaks into people's lives to tempt them with his tempting proposals; he mixes his voice with the many other voices that try to tame our conscience. : "But, do this, there is no problem, then God forgives! But a day of joy take it..." – "But it is a sin!" – "No, it is nothing like this". This is an alternative route to God's path, and these give us the sense of being  self-sufficient, of the enjoyment of life as an end to itself.

But all this is illusory: we soon realize that the more we distance ourselves from God, the more defenceless and helpless we feel in the face of the great problems of existence.