Pope Francis comments on Jesus' meeting with the first disciples before the Angelus prayer. “Their hearts grow warmer and warmer as the Master speaks. They sense the beauty of words that respond to their greatest hope”. “The light that only God can give explodes in them … this light overflows from their hearts like a raging river”. The Day for the deepening of dialogue between Catholics and Jews. The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - "God calls to life, He calls to faith, and He calls to a particular state in life": this is how Pope Francis summarized "the encounter with Christ who calls the first disciples to be with him", recounted in today's Sunday Gospel on the second of Sunday of ordinary time (B, John 1: 35-42).
The pontiff made his reflections before reciting the midday Angelus prayer. After the Marian prayer, he invited people to say a prayer for the Indonesian nation hit by an earthquake and a plane disaster.
At the invitation of Jesus ("Come and see", v. 39)". The two follow Him and remained that afternoon with Him. It is not difficult to imagine them seated asking Him questions and above all listening to Him, feeling their hearts enflamed ever more while the Master spoke. They sense the beauty of the words that respond to their greatest hope. And all of a sudden they discover that, even though it is evening, that light that only God can give was exploding within them."
Moving from his scripted text, the Pope added: "One thing that attracts attention: one of them, 60 years later, remembers the time of the meeting. The true encounter with Jesus is emblazoned in their memory, because it changed their life ". “When they leave and return to their brothers, that joy, that light overflows from their hearts like a raging river. One of the two, Andrew, says to his brother, Simon – whom Jesus will call Peter – “We have found the Messiah" (v. 41) ”.
“. God calls to life, He calls to faith, and He calls to a particular state in life. God’s first call is to life, through which He makes us persons; it is an individual call because God does not make things in series. Then God calls us to faith and to become part of His family as children of God. Lastly, God calls us to a particular state in life: to give of ourselves on the path of matrimony, or that of the priesthood or the consecrated life. They are different ways of realizing the design that God has for each one of us that is always a design of love. And the greatest joy for every believer is to respond to that call, offering one’s entire being to the service of God and the brothers and sisters.”
“Before the Lord’s call, which reaches us in a thousand ways – through others, happy or sad events – our attitude at times might be rejection because it seems to be in contrast to our aspirations; another is fear because we believe it is too demanding and uncomfortable. But God’s call is love and it should be responded to only with love. At the beginning there is an encounter, or rather, there is the encounter with Jesus who speaks to us of His Father, He makes His love known to us. And then the spontaneous desire will arise even in us to communicate it to the people that we love: “I met Love”, “I found the meaning of my life”. In a word: “I found God”."
After the Angelus prayer, the pontiff expressed his closeness to the people of the island of Sulawesi (Indonesia) hit by a "strong earthquake", praying for the victims, the wounded and the survivors. He added: “May the Lord comfort and console and support the efforts of those who are bringing relief". Then recalling the plane crash that also took place in Indonesia a few days earlier, he invited people to recite a Hail Mary.
He then highlighted two important events: today's observance of the Day for the deepening of dialogue between Catholics and Jews, which has lasted for 30 years and for which he wishes "abundant fruits of fraternity and collaboration"; and one that begins tomorrow, the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, which this year has as its theme "Abide in my love". The Pope recalled that on January 25, as a tradition, he will celebrate vespers in the basilica of St. Paul outside the walls together with the various representatives of the Christian denominations of Rome.