Here is a ZENIT translation of the address Pope Francis gave today, before and after praying the midday Angelus with those gathered in St. Peter’s Square.
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Before the Angelus:
Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!
This Second Sunday of Ordinary Time is placed in continuity with Epiphany and with the feast of the Baptism of Jesus. The evangelical passage (Cf. John 1:29-34) speaks to us again of Jesus’ manifestation. In fact, after being baptized in the River Jordan, He was consecrated by the Holy Spirit who rested on Him and was proclaimed Son of God by the Heavenly Father’s voice (Cf. Matthew 3:16-17). The Evangelist John, as opposed to the other three Evangelists, doesn’t describe the event, but proposes to us John the Baptist’s testimony. He was the first witness of Christ. God had called him and prepared him for this.
The Baptist couldn’t hold back the urgent desire to give witness of Jesus and declares: “I have seen and have borne witness” (v. 34). John has seen something overwhelming, namely, the beloved Son of God solidary with sinners; and the Holy Spirit made him understand the unheard-of novelty, a true upheaval. In fact, whereas in all religions it is man who offers and sacrifices something to God, in the event Jesus is God who offers His own Son for humanity’s salvation. John manifests his astonishment and his consensus to this novelty brought by Jesus, through an expression that we repeat every time in the Mass: “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! (v. 29).”
John the Baptist’s testimony invites us to always begin again our journey of faith: to begin again from Jesus Christ, Lamb full of mercy that the Father has given for us. To let ourselves be surprised again by God’s choice to be on our side, to make Himself solidary with us sinners, and to save the world from evil taking charge of it totally.
We learn from John the Baptist not to presume to know Jesus already, to know already everything about Him (Cf. v. 31). No, it’s not like that. Let us pause on the Gospel, contemplating perhaps also an icon of Christ, a “Holy Face.” We contemplate it with our eyes and even more with our heart, and we allow ourselves be instructed by the Holy Spirit, who says to us within: It is He! It is the Son of God made Lamb, immolated out of love. He, He alone has borne, has suffered, has expiated the sin, the sin of each one of us, the sin of the world, and also my sins — all. He took them all on Himself and took them away from us, so that we could finally be free, no longer slaves of evil. Yes, we are still poor sinners but not slaves, no, not slaves but children, children of God!
May the Virgin Mary obtain for us the strength to render witness to Her Son Jesus; to proclaim Him joyfully with a life freed from evil and a word full of amazed and grateful faith.[Original text: Italian] [ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]
After the Angelus:
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Being held today in Berlin is a Conference to discuss the crisis in Libya. I earnestly hope that this very important summit is the start of a path towards the cessation of violence and a negotiated solution, which leads to peace and the much-desired stability of the country.
I greet you all, dear pilgrims and Roman faithful, in particular the members of some Confraternities of Seville, Spain; the faithful of Bielsko-Biala and of Poznan, Poland; the students of “Loras College” of Dubuque, the United States, and those of the Vila Pouca de Aguiar, in Portugal.
I greet the parish groups of Scandicci and Quarto d’Altino, those of San Giuseppe al Trionfale and of San Melchiade in Rome, as well as the altar servers of Corva, diocese of Concordia-Pordenone, with their families.
It gives me pleasure that 2020 has been designated, at the international level, as “Year of the Nurse and Midwife.” The nurses are the most numerous and closest health workers to the sick, and the midwives carry out, perhaps, the most noble among the professions. Let us pray for all of them, so that they can carry out to the best their precious work.
I wish you all a happy Sunday. Please, don’t forget to pray for me.
Enjoy your lunch and goodbye![Original text: Italian] [ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]