03/22/2015, 00.00
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Pope: Offer to the "many" who want to "see Jesus" the Gospel, the Cross and the witness to our faith

"Christians can become 'grains' and bear much fruit if, like Jesus, they 'lose their life' for love of God and neighbor." Again this year, Francis distributes pocket Gospels in St Peter's Square. Today is World Water Day, sponsored by the United Nations, "the waters of the planet must be adequately protected and no one should be excluded or discriminated against in the use of this right, which is a common good par excellence."

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - For the "many" who "want to see Jesus," who "are seeking the face of God, to those who have received little catechesis and did not  pursue a more in depth" understanding of the faith "we can offer three things: the Gospel, the Gospel, the Cross and the witness to our faith, poor but honest. The Gospel: there we encounter Jesus, listen to him, know him. The Cross: a sign of the love of Jesus, who gave himself for us. And then a faith that results in simple gestures of fraternal charity ". said Pope Francis before the Angelus, after which he again distributed among those present a pocket Gospel.

"According to the ancient tradition of the Church - he told the 40 thousand people in St. Peter's Square - during Lent we distribute the Gospel to those who are preparing for baptism, so today I'm offering pocket Gospel to you here in the square. They will be distributed free of charge by some homeless people who live in Rome. Again we see a gesture that appeals to Jesus: the neediest give us the Word of God. Take it and carry it with you, read it often, a passage every day. The Word of God is light for our path. "

After the Marian prayer, the Pope wanted to "thank the all Neapolitans for the warm welcome" he received yesterday and also mentioned that "today marks World Water Day, sponsored by the United Nations. Water - he added - is the most essential element for life, and the future of humanity depends on our ability to safeguard it and to share it. I therefore encourage the international community to ensure that the waters of the planet are adequately protected and that no one is excluded or discriminated against in the use of this right, which is a common good par excellence. With Saint Francis of Assisi we say: "Praised be my Lord, through Sister water, / which is very useful and humble and precious and chaste »".

Previously, Francis had reflected on today's Gospel : ""On the Fifth Sunday of Lent the evangelist John attracts our attention with a curious episode.  Some Greeks of the Jewish faith had come to Jerusalem for the Passover, turn to the Apostle Philipp saying "we want to see Jesus". Many people were in the Holy City, where Jesus had come for the last time.  There were small and simple people who had welcomed the Prophet of Nazareth in celebration recognizing in him the Lord's envoy.  There where the chief priests and leaders who wanted to eliminate him because they considered him heretical and dangerous. There were also people like these Greeks who are curious about him and to find out more about him and his works, the most recent of which - the raising of Lazarus from the dead - had made quite a stir".   

"We want to see Jesus" - these words recounted by the evangelist go beyond this particular episode and speak of something that is universal, they reveal a desire that crosses epochs and cultures, a desire that is present in the heart of many people who have heard of Jesus but have yet to encounter him. "I desire to see Christ" that is how these people feel in their hearts. Christ's prophetic response to this requests reveals his true identity and indicates the path to really get to know him. The hour has come for the glorification of the Son of Man, it is the hour of the Cross, the hour of  Satan's defeat, the prince of evil and the hour of the merciful love of God".

"Christ declares that he will be raised from earth an expression with two meanings: Raised because he is crucified and raised because he is lifted up by God the Father in his Resurrection drawing all to Him to reconcile them to God and among each other. The hour of the Cross, the darkest in history but also the source of salvation for all who believe in him".  

"Continuing in the prophecy of his Easter which is imminent, Jesus uses a simple image, that of the grain of wheat that falls to earth dies and bears fruit. In this image we find another aspect of the Cross of Christ: that of Fecundity.  Christ's Cross is fruitful. In fact Christ's death is an inexhaustible source of new life, it carries within it the re-generating power of God's Love.  Immersed in this love for Baptism, Christians can become 'grains' and bear much fruit if, like Jesus, they 'lose their life' for love of God and neighbor. Therefore, For the "many" who "want to see Jesus," who "are seeking the face of God, to those who have received little catechesis and did not  pursue a more in depth" understanding of the faith "we can offer three things: the Gospel, the Gospel, the Cross and the witness to our faith, poor but honest. The Gospel: there we encounter Jesus, listen to him, know him. The Cross: a sign of the love of Jesus, who gave himself for us. And then a faith that results in simple gestures of fraternal charity".

 

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