POPE FRANCIS: “GOD CALLS US TO GENEROUSLY CORRESPOND TO THE EVANGELICAL CALL OF LOVE.”
Dear brethren in Christ, below you have the ZENIT translation of the address Pope Francis gave today, May 21, 2017, before praying the midday Regina Coeli with those gathered in St. Peter’s Square.
+++ADDRESS BEGINS HERE. EMPHASIS (IN WEBSITE FORMAT) MINE.+++
Before the Regina Coeli:
Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!
Today’s Gospel (Cf. John 14:15-21), continuation of last Sunday’s, takes us to that moving and dramatic moment, which is Jesus’ Last Supper with His disciples. John the Evangelist gathers from the Lord’s mouth and heart His last teachings, before His Passion and Death. Jesus promises His friends, in that sad, dark moment, that, after Him, they will receive “another Paraclete” (v. 16). This word means another “Advocate,” another Defender, another Consoler: “the Spirit of truth” (v. 17); and He adds “I will not leave you desolate; I will come to you” (v. 18). These words transmit the joy of a new coming of Christ: He, risen and glorified, abides in the Father and, at the same time, comes to us in the Holy Spirit. And in this, His new coming, our union with Him and with the Father is revealed: “In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you” (v. 20).
Meditating on these words of Jesus, we perceive ourselves today with a sense of faith of being the People of God in communion with the Father and with Jesus through the Holy Spirit. In this mystery of communion the Church finds the inexhaustible source of her mission, which is realized through love. In today’s Gospel Jesus says: “He who has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me; and he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him” (v. 21). It is love that introduces us in knowledge of Jesus, thanks to the action of this “Advocate” that Jesus has sent, namely, the Holy Spirit. The Gospel’s greatest commandment is love of God and of our neighbor. The Lord calls us today to correspond generously to the evangelical call of love, putting God at the center of our life and dedicating ourselves to the service of brethren, especially those most in need of support and consolation.
If there is an attitude that is never easy, that is never taken for granted, including in a Christian community, it is in fact to be able to love, to love on the example of the Lord and with His grace. Sometimes the contrasts, pride, envies, divisions also leave a sign on the Church’s beautiful face. A community of Christians should live in Christ’s charity and, instead, it is in fact there that the Evil One “puts his paw” and we, sometimes, let ourselves be deceived, and those that pay the price are the spiritually weakest persons. How many of them – and you console some of them –, how many of them have distanced themselves because they do not feel welcomed, they do not feel understood, they do not feel loved. How many persons have distanced themselves, for instance, from some parishes or communities because of an environment of gossip, of jealousies, of envies that they have found there. For a Christian also, to be able to love is never a fact acquired once and for all. One must begin again every day; we must exercise ourselves so that our love for the brothers and sisters we encounter may become mature and purified of those limits and sins that render it partial, egoistic, sterile and unfaithful. Every day the art of loving must be learnt. Listen to this: every day the art of loving must be learnt; every day Christ’s school of patience must be followed, every day one must forgive and look at Jesus and this with the help of this “Advocate,” of this Consoler that Jesus has sent us who is the Holy Spirit.
May the Virgin Mary, perfect disciple of her Son and Lord, help us to be ever more docile to the Paraclete, the Spirit of truth, to learn every day to love one another as Jesus has loved us.
[Original text: Italian] [Translation by Virginia M. Forrester]
PHOTO CREDIT: REUTERS IN VATICAN RADIO FB PAGE.