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Dear brothers and sisters!
Hello! This morning I made my first pastoral visit to a parish of the Diocese of Rome. I thank the Lord and I ask you to pray for my pastoral service and this Church of Rome, which has the mission of presiding in universal charity.
Today is Trinity Sunday. The light of Easter renews in us every year the joy and stupor of the faith: let us understand that God is not something vague, our God is not something vaporous, he is concrete, he is not an abstraction, but has a name: “God is love.” It is not a sentimental or emotive love, but the love of the Father that is the origin of every life, the love of the Son who dies on the cross and rises, the love of the Spirit, who renews man and the world. Understanding that God is love does us a lot of good, because it teaches us to love, to give ourselves to others as Jesus gave himself to us, to walk with us. Jesus walks with us along the road of life.
The Most Holy Trinity is not the product of human reasoning; it is the face with which God himself revealed himself, not from the height of a cathedra, but walking with humanity. It is precisely Jesus who revealed the Father and promised us the Holy Spirit. God walked with his people in the history of the people of Israel and Jesus always walked with us and promised us the Holy Spirit, who is fire, who teaches us all the things that we do not know, who guides us from within, he gives us the good ideas and the good inspirations.
Today we praise God not for a particular mystery but for himself, “for his great glory,” as the liturgical hymn says. We praise him and we thank him because he is Love, and because he calls us to enter into the embrace of his communion, which is eternal life.
Let us place our praises in the hands of the Virgin Mary. She, the most humble of creatures, through Christ has already arrived at the goal of the earthly pilgrimage: she is already in the glory of the Trinity. Because of this Mary our Mother, Our Lady, shines for us as a sign of sure hope. She is the Mother of hope; on our journey, on our road, she is the Mother of hope. She is also the Mother who consoles us, the Mother of consolation and the Mother who is with us on the journey. Now we all pray to Our Lady together, our Mother who accompanies us on the journey.[Following the recitation of the Angelus the Holy Father made the following remarks:]
Dear brothers and sisters,
Yesterday, in Palermo, Don Giuseppe Puglisi, priest and martyr, killed by the mafia in 1993, was beatified. Don Puglisi was an exemplary priest, especially dedicated to pastoral work with young people. Teaching them according to the Gospel, he snatched them out of the hands of organized crime, and so they tried to defeat him by killing him. In fact, however, he is the one who won, with the risen Christ. I think of the many sufferings of men and women, and of children, who are exploited by the mafia, who exploit them by forcing them into work that makes them slaves, with prostitution, with many social pressures. The mafia is behind this exploitation and slavery. Let us pray to the Lord that he convert the hearts of these people. They cannot do this! They cannot make us, their brothers, slaves! We must pray to the Lord! Let us pray that these mafiosi convert to God and praise God through the shining witness of Don Giuseppe Puglisi, and let us treasure his example!
I greet with affection all of the pilgrims present, the families, the parish groups, who have come from Italy, Spain, France and many other countries. I greet in particular the Associazione Nazionale San Paolo degli Oratori e dei Circoli Giovanili (National Association of St. Paul of Oratories and Youth Groups). Dear friends, may St. Philip Neri, whom we remember today, and Bl. Giuseppe Puglisi assist you in your efforts. I greet the group of Chinese Catholics who are present, who have gathered in Rome to pray for the Church in China, invoking the intercession of Mary Our Help.
My thoughts go out to those who promote the “Giornate del Sollievo” (Day of Relief) for the sick who are close to the end of their earthly journey; and to the Associazione Italiana Sclerosi Multipla (Italian Multiple Sclerosis Association). Thank you for your work! I greet the Associazione Nazionale Arma di Cavalleria (National Calvary Corps Association), and the faithful of Fiumicello, near Padova.
I wish everyone a good Sunday and a good lunch![Translation by Joseph Trabbic]