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!
Today we celebrate the feast of the Presentation of the Lord, when the newborn Jesus was presented in the Temple by the Virgin Mary and Saint Joseph. Observed on this date also is the World Day of Consecrated Life, which recalls the treasure in the Church of those that follow the Lord closely, professing the evangelical counsels.
The Gospel (Cf. Luke 2:22-40) recounts that forty days after His birth, Jesus’ parents took Him to Jerusalem to consecrate Him to God, as prescribed by the Jewish Law. And, while describing a rite provided by the tradition, this episode calls our attention to the example of some personalities. They are gathered at the moment in which they experience the encounter with the Lord, in the place where He makes Himself present and close to man. It is Mary and Joseph, Simeon and Anna, who represent models of hospitality and of donation of their life to God. These four were not the same; they were all different, but all were seeking God and all allowed themselves to be guided by the Lord. The evangelist Luke describes all four of them in a twofold attitude: an attitude of movement and an attitude of wonder.
The first attitude is movement. Mary and Joseph set out toward Jerusalem. For his part, Simeon, moved by the Spirit, goes to the Temple, whereas Anna serves God day and night without ceasing. Thus the four protagonists of the evangelical passage show us that Christian life calls for dynamism and willingness to walk, allowing oneself to be guided by the Holy Spirit. Immobility isn’t appropriate for Christian witness and the mission of the Church. The world is in need of Christians who let themselves move; who don’t tire of walking on the paths of life, to bring to all Jesus’ consoling word. Every baptized <person> has received the vocation to proclaim, to proclaim something, to proclaim Jesus — the vocation to the evangelizing mission: to proclaim Jesus! The parishes and the different ecclesial communities are called to foster their commitment to young people, families and the elderly, so that all can have a Christian experience, living as protagonists the life and mission of the Church.
The second attitude, with which Saint Luke presents the four personalities of the story, is wonder. Mary and Joseph “marveled at what was said about Him [of Jesus] (v. 33). Marvel is also an explicit reaction of the elderly Simeon, who in the Child Jesus sees with his eyes the salvation wrought by God in favor of His people: that salvation that he awaited for years. And the same is true for Anna who “gave thanks to God” (v. 38) and went to point out Jesus to the people. She was a holy chatterbox; she chatted well, she chatted about good things, not bad things. She spoke, she proclaimed, she was a saint who went here and there, making them see Jesus. These believing figures are enveloped in wonder because they allow themselves to be seized and involved by the events happening under their eyes. The ability to marvel at the things that surround us fosters the religious experience and makes fruitful the encounter with the Lord. The inability to marvel, on the contrary, renders one indifferent and widens the distance between the path of faith and ever-day life. Brothers and sisters, be in movement always, leaving yourselves open to wonder!
May the Virgin Mary help us to contemplate Jesus every day, Gift of the Father for us, and to allow ourselves to be involved by Him in the movement of gift, with joyful wonder, so that our whole life becomes a praise of God in the service of brethren.[Original text: Italian] [ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]
© Libreria Editrice Vatican
After the Angelus:
Dear Brothers and Sisters!
Being observed today in Italy is the Day of Consecrated Life, whose theme is “Open the Doors to Life.” I associate myself to the Message of the Bishops and I hope that this Day is an occasion to renew the commitment to guard and protect human life from its beginning to its natural end. Moreover, it’s necessary to oppose every form of violation of dignity, also when technology and the economy are at stake, opening wide the doors to new forms of solidary fraternity.
Today, on the Day of Consecrated Life, I would like us all in the Square to pray together for the consecrated men and women that do so much work, often hiddenly.
Let us pray together. [Hail Mary]
And applaud the consecrated men and women!
I greet you all, Romans and pilgrims, in particular, the students of Badajoz (Spain); the faithful of Cremona, Spoleto, Fano, Palau and Roseto of the Abruzzi. I see that there are many Polish pilgrims! And Japanese pilgrims, let’s greet them also!
I wish you all a happy Sunday. And, please, don’t forget to pray for me. Enjoy your lunch and goodbye![Original text: Italian] [ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]
© Libreria Editrice Vatican