Despite not being worthy of His Love, Jesus loves us. This was what Pope Francis reminded the faithful today at noon during his Regina Coeli address in St. Peter’s Square, saying we are to imitate Jesus’ love for others in our loves, even when difficult.
Reflecting on today’s Gospel from St. John, Francis recalled when Jesus gave his new commandment to the disciples: ‘This is my commandment you love one another as I have loved you.’
The whole message of Jesus, Francis also said, is summed in his words at the Last Supper, namely ‘No one has greater love than this: to lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you.’
“They summarize all that He has done: he gave his life for his friends,” he added. “Friends who had not understood him, that in that crucial moment abandoned, betrayed and denied him. This says to us that God loves us despite not being worthy of His love. This is how much Jesus loves us.”
In this way, the Pope said, Jesus shows us the way to follow the path of love, the “concrete path that leads us to move beyond ourselves to reach out to others.”
The Holy Father went on to say that the pages of the Gospel are full of this love. “Children and adults, educated and uneducated, rich and poor, the righteous and sinners,” he said, “have been welcome in the heart of Christ.”
“This Word of God,” the Pontiff underscored, “calls us to love each one another, even if we do not always understand each other, and do not always agree … but that’s where we see Christian love … A love that also manifests itself when there are differences in opinion or character.”
It is this love of Christ that the Holy Spirit pours into our hearts, the Pope said, that makes us able to live out this love.
“Little gestures of closeness to an elderly, a child, a sick person, a single person and distressed, homeless, jobless, immigrant, refugee … Thanks to the strength of the Word of Christ, each of us can get to meet our neighbor,” he noted.
In these gestures of closeness and proximity, Francis said, we manifest the love that Jesus has taught to us.
Calling for applause
After the recitation of the Regina Coeli, the Pope greeted various groups present, including a delegation of women from “Komen Italia,” an association for the fight against breast cancer, and those who took part in Rome’s March for Life today.
“It is important to work together to defend and promote life,” the Pope urged.
Noting that in many nations Mother’s Day is celebrated today, Francis made a special shout out to all mothers.
“We remember with gratitude and affection all mothers,” he said. “Now I turn to all the mothers.”
“Are there some of them here, here in the square? Are there? An applause for the mommies in the square. And this applause embraces all the mothers, all our dear mothers, those that live with us physically, but also those that live with us spiritually.”
“May the Lord bless them all,” the Pope said, “and may the Mother of God, to whom this month is dedicated, watch over them all.”
The Holy Father concluded, wishing everyone a good Sunday, good lunch, and reminding them to pray for him.
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