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Regina Coeli Address: Good Shepherd Sunday and the Healing of a Cripple (Full Text)

Regina Coeli Address: Good Shepherd Sunday and the Healing of a Cripple

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Here is a ZENIT translation of the address Pope Francis gave April 22, 2018,  before and after praying the midday Regina Coeli with those gathered in St. Peter’s Square.
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Before the Regina Coeli:
 Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!
The Liturgy of this fourth Sunday of Easter continues with the intent to help us rediscover our identity as disciples of the Risen Lord. In the Acts of the Apostles, Peter declares openly that the healing of a cripple, carried out by him, of which the whole of Jerusalem was talking, happened in the name of Jesus, because “there is salvation in no one else” (4:12). Each one of us is in that healed man – that man is a figure of us: we are all there –, our communities are there: each one can be healed from the many forms of spiritual infirmity that he has – ambition, sloth, pride – if we accept, with trust, to put our existence in the hands of the Risen Lord. “By the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth . . . this man is standing before you well,” (v. 10) affirms Peter. However, who is Christ who heals? In what does being healed by Him consist? From what are we healed and through what attitudes?
We find the answer to all these questions in today’s Gospel, where Jesus says: “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for His sheep (John 10:11). This self-presentation of Jesus can’t be reduced to an emotive suggestion, without any concrete effect! Jesus heals through being a Shepherd that gives life. Giving His life for us, Jesus says to each one: “your life is worth so much to Me, that to save it I give the whole of myself.” It’s precisely this offering of His life that makes Him the Good Shepherd par excellence, He who heals, He who enables us to live a beautiful and fruitful life.
The second part of the same evangelical page tells us under what conditions Jesus can heal us and can make our life joyful and fruitful: “I am the good shepherd; I know my own and my own know me, as the Father knows me and I know the Father” (vv. 14-15), says Jesus. Jesus doesn’t speak of an intellective knowledge, no, but of a personal relationship, of predilection, of mutual tenderness, reflection of the same intimate relationship of love between Him and the Father. This is the attitude through which a living relationship with Jesus is realized; to let oneself be known by Him. Not to shut oneself in oneself <but> to open oneself to the Lord, so that He can know me. He is attentive to each one of us, He knows our heart in depth; He knows our good points and our bad points, the projects we have realized and the hopes that were disappointed.  However, He accepts us as we are, also with our sins, to heal us, to forgive us. He guides us with love so that we can also go through rough paths without losing the way. He accompanies us.
In turn, we are called to know Jesus. This implies an encounter with Him, an encounter that arouses the desire to follow Him, abandoning self-referential attitudes to set out on new roads, indicated by Christ Himself and opened on vast horizons. When the desire cools down in our communities to live the relationship with Jesus, to listen to His voice and to follow Him faithfully, it’s inevitable that other ways of thinking and living will prevail, which aren’t coherent with the Gospel. May Mary, our Mother, help us to mature an ever- stronger relationship with Jesus. To open ourselves to Jesus, so that He enters inside us. A stronger relationship: He is risen, so we can follow Him our whole life. In this Day of Prayer for Vocations, may Mary intercede, so that many will respond with generosity and perseverance to the Lord, who calls to leave everything for His Kingdom.
© Libreria Editrice Vatican
[Original text: Italian]  [ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]
After the Regina Coeli
 Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I’m concerned about what’s happening these days in Nicaragua, where clashes broke out following a social protest, which also caused some victims. I express my closeness in prayer to that country, and I join the Bishops in asking that the violence cease, the useless shedding of blood be avoided and the questions opened be resolved peacefully and with a sense of responsibility.
As I mentioned a short while ago, in this fourth Sunday of Easter, the whole Church celebrates the Day of Prayer for Vocations. The theme is: “Listen, Discern, Live the Call of the Lord.” I thank the Lord because He continues to arouse in the Church stories of love for Jesus Christ, to the praise of His glory and at the service of brothers. Today, in particular, we thank Him for the new priests I ordained a short while ago in St. Peter’s Basilica.  And we ask the Lord to send many good laborers to work in His field, as well as multiply the vocations to the consecrated life and to Christian marriage. As I was saying, today I ordained sixteen priests. Of these sixteen, four came here to greet you and to give the Blessing with me.
[Four new priests appeared at the window next to the Pope]
 My heartfelt greeting to you all, Romans and pilgrims from Italy and from many countries, in particular, those from Setubal, Lisbon, Krakow, and the Sisters, Pious Disciples of the Divine Master that have come from Korea.
I greet the pilgrims of Castiglione d’Adda, Torralba, Modica, Cremona and Brescia <and> he parish choir of Ugovizza; the Confirmation youngsters of Gazzaniga, Pollenza and Cisano sul Neva.
I wish you all a happy Sunday and, please, don’t forget to pray for me.
Have a good lunch and goodbye!
© Libreria Editrice Vatican
[Original text: Italian]  [ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]

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Virginia Forrester

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