Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Pope Francis is following with "deep concern" what is happening in Iraq. At the Angelus, he called for prayers "for the dear nation of Iraq, especially for the victims and for those who suffer the most from the consequences of the rising wave of violence, especially for the many people, including many Christians, who have had to leave their homes. My hope," he continued, "is for the entire population to achieve security, peace and a future of reconciliation and justice in which all Iraqis, whatever their religious affiliation, can build together their homeland, making it a model of coexistence."
Despite the unpredictable weather, the pope told the 50,000 people present in St Peter's Square for the Marian prayer that he would be travelling to Tirana, Albania, on 21 September. "With this short trip," he explained, "I want to confirm the faith of the Church in Albania and testify my encouragement to a country that has long suffered as a result of the ideologies of the past."
Before the Angelus, the Pope mentioned that today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Holy Trinity, "which presents to our contemplation and adoration the divine life of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit: a life of deep communion and perfect love, origin and destination for the whole universe and every creature, God. In the Trinity, we also recognise the model of the Church, in which we are called to love one another as Jesus loved us. Love is a concrete sign that expresses the belief in God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Love is a Christian's badge, as Jesus said, 'This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.' It is a contradiction to think of Christians hating each other, which is what the devil is always looking for: make us hate because he always sowing the discord of hatred; he does not know love, love belongs to God!"
We are all called to bear witness and proclaim the message that "God is love," that God is not distant or indifferent to our human affairs. He is close to us, is always with us, walks with us to share our joys and our sorrows, our hopes and our labours. He loves us to the point that he was made flesh, came into the world not to judge it but that the world might be saved through Jesus. And this is God's love in Jesus. This love is so difficult to understand, but which we feel when we get closer to Jesus. And He forgives us always; He always waits for us; He loves us so much! And the love of Jesus we feel is God's love!"
"The Holy Spirit, the gift of the Risen Jesus, communicates to us the divine life and thus makes us enter into the dynamism of the Trinity, which is a dynamism of love, communion, mutual service, of sharing. A person who loves others for the very joy of loving is a reflection of the Trinity. A family in which people love and help each other is a reflection of the Trinity. A parish in which people love each other and share spiritual and material goods is a reflection of Trinity. "
"True love is boundless, but knows its limits in order to meet others, and respect others' freedom. Every Sunday we go to Mass and celebrate the Eucharist, which is like the 'burning bush' in which the Trinity humbly lives and communicates; for this reason, the Church placed the feast of Corpus Christi after the Trinity. Next Thursday, according to the Roman tradition, we shall celebrate Mass at St John Lateran and then shall conduct the procession with the Blessed Sacrament. I invite Romans and pilgrims to participate in order to express our desire to be a people 'assembled in the unity of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit'."
"I expect all of you," said the pope in concluding, "to come next Thursday for the Mass and the procession of Corpus Domini."