Pope Francis has advised the faithful to read part of the Gospel every day so they can listen to Jesus at all times.
In his Angelus address yesterday on the second Sunday of Lent, the Holy Father reflected upon the Transfiguration of Christ and urged the faithful this week to “listen to Jesus”.
“We, as Jesus’ disciples, are called upon to be people who listen to His voice and take His words seriously,” he said. “To listen to Jesus, we need to be near to Him, to follow Him, as did the crowds in the Gospel who ran after him through the streets of Palestine.”
But, he added, we also listen to Jesus in his written Word, in the Gospel. “Let me ask you a question: do you read a passage from the Gospel every day? Yes, no, yes, no, so-so. But it is important. It is a good idea to have a small Gospel, a pocket-sized Gospel that you can carry around with you, and to read a short passage from it at any time of the day,” he said.
“At any time in the day I take the Gospel out of my pocket and read a little something, a short passage. There we find Jesus, Who speaks to us, in the Gospel! Think about this. It is not difficult, and it is not even necessary to have all four of them: we can carry just one of the Gospels, a little copy, with us at all times. Let us always keep the Gospel with us, because it is the Word of Jesus, so that we can listen to Him at all times.”
The Pope said that, in order to share the Word of the Lord, we must learn to “ascend” in prayer and “descend” with fraternal charity, and he emphasised that this is a mission that involves the entire Church, all baptised persons.
“In this episode of the Transfiguration, I would like to comment on two significant elements that can be summarised in two words – ascent and descent”, he said. “We need to take time out to climb the mountain in silent space, to find ourselves and to better hear the voice of the Lord. We do this in prayer. But we cannot remain there! The encounter with God in prayer inspires us to go back down the mountain, onto the plain, where we meet many brothers and sisters who are weighed down by fatigue, injustice, ignorance and poverty, both material and spiritual.
“We must bring to these brothers of ours who are in difficulty the fruits of our experience with God, sharing the grace we have received. And this is curious,” he said. “When we hear the Word of Jesus, when we listen to the Word of Jesus and commit it to our hearts, that Word grows. And do you know how we make it grow? By giving it to others! The Word of Christ grows in us when we proclaim it, when we give it to others. And this is Christian life”.
Finally, the Holy Father asked all those present to turn to the Mother of God and our Mother, invoking her guidance in our Lenten journey.