VATICAN CITY, APRIL 29, 2018 (Zenit.org).- Here is a ZENIT translation of the address Pope Francis gave today, 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!
On this fifth Sunday of Easter, the Word of God also continues to indicate to us the way and conditions to be a community of the Risen Lord. Highlighted last Sunday was the relationship between a believer and Jesus the Good Shepherd. Today the Gospel proposes to us the moment in which Jesus presents Himself as the true vine and He invites us to remain united to Him to bear much fruit (Cf. John 15:1-8). The vine is a plant that forms a whole with the branches, and the branches are fruitful only when united to the vine. This relationship is the secret of the Christian life, and the evangelist John expresses it with the verb “abide,” which in today’s passage is repeated seven times. “Abide in Me,” says the Lord; abide in the Lord.
It’s about abiding in the Lord to have the courage to go out of ourselves — of our comforts, of our restricted and protected areas –, to go into the open sea of the needs of others and give ample breadth to our Christian witness in the world. This courage to go out of oneself and to go to the needs of others is born of faith in the Risen Lord and of the certainty that His Spirit accompanies our history. One of the most mature fruits that flows from communion with Christ is, in fact, the commitment of charity to our neighbor, loving brothers with abnegation of self, up to the ultimate consequences, as Jesus has loved us. The dynamism of the believer’s charity isn’t the fruit of strategies; it’s not born of external solicitations of social or ideological instances, but it is born of an encounter with Jesus and of abiding in Jesus. He is for us the life of which we absorb the lymph, that is, “life” to bring to society a different way of living and spending oneself, which puts the last in the first place.
When one is intimate with the Lord, as the vine and the branches are intimate and united between them, one is capable of bearing fruits of new life, of mercy, of justice and of peace, stemming from the Lord’s Resurrection. It’s what the Saints did, those who lived the Christian life in fullness and the witness of charity because they were true branches of the Lord’s vine. However, to be saints “it’s not necessary to be Bishops, priests, women or men religious. [. . .] All of us, all are called to be saints living with love, and each one offering their own witness in the occupations of every day, there where one finds oneself” (Apostolic Exhortation Gaudete et Exsultate, 14). We are all called to be saints; we must be saints with this richness that we receive from the Risen Lord. Every activity – work, rest, family and social life, the exercise of political, cultural and economic responsibilities — every activity, whether little or great, if lived in union with Jesus and with an attitude of love and service, is an occasion to live Baptism and evangelical holiness fully.
May Mary, Queen of Saints and model of perfect communion with her divine Son, be of help to us. May she teach us to abide in Jesus, as branches in the vine, and to never separate ourselves from His love. In fact, we can do nothing without Him, because our life is Christ alive, present in the Church and in the world.[Original text: Italian] [ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]
© Libreria Editrice Vatican
After the Regina Coeli
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Yesterday Hanna Chrzanowska, lay faithful who dedicated her life to the care of the sick, in whom she saw the face of suffering Jesus, was proclaimed Blessed in Krakow. We thank God for the witness of this apostle of the sick and let us make an effort to imitate her example.
I accompany with prayer the positive success of last Friday’s Inter-Korean Summit and the courageous commitment assumed by the leaders of the two sides, to engage in a course of sincere dialogue for a Korean Peninsula free of nuclear arms. I pray to the Lord that the hope of a future of peace and more fraternal friendship won’t be disappointed and that the collaboration can continue bearing fruits of goodness for the beloved Korean people and for the whole world.
Last week the Christian community of Nigeria was stricken again with the killing of a group of faithful, among whom were two priests. We entrust these brothers to the God of mercy, that he may help those very tried communities to rediscover concord and peace.
I greet affectionately the pilgrims present today, truly too many to name each group! However, at least I greet those from Braga, Portugal, from India and from Pakistan; the faithful of Pavia, Crema and Vignale; the numerous youngsters that received or will receive Confirmation; and the adolescents of Cuneo, Remedello, Arcore, Valle Olona, and Modica.
A particular thought goes to the Confraternities of Assisi, accompanied by the Bishop; to the young animators of the Josephite Fathers of Murialdo, and to the participants in the National Catechumenate Congress, organized by the Italian Episcopal Conference.
Dear brothers and sisters, day after tomorrow, May 1, in the afternoon, I will initiate the Marian Month with a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Divine Love. We will pray the Rosary, praying in particular for peace in Syria and in the whole world. I invite you to unite yourselves spiritually and to prolong throughout the month of May the prayer of the Rosary for peace.
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]