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    » 11/23/2013, 00.00

    VATICAN

    Pope to catechumens: The thirst for God unites people from all over the world. Without it, faith grows stale



    Francis presides over the rite of admission to the catechumenate , the penultimate event of the Year of Faith, which closes tomorrow with a solemn Mass in St. Peter's. The pontiff gives Gospels to about 500 catechumens from all over the world , who are preparing to become Christians . During his homily, the pope underscores the "three moments" relative to this path : listening, encounter and the journey. Among the baptismal candidates presented to the Pope, Mahmoud Farah, Romina , Yoko (in a traditional Japanese robe ) , Olzi , Rami, Francesca , Kriztof , Mimosa and Zhao .

    Vatican City ( AsiaNews ) - The " thirst for God", the soul's longing for the Lord "unites all people of the world. God is also 'thirsty for us ' , he wants to be with us. Without this thirst, faith grows stale. Never forget that Jesus loves you, and make no mistake, he will never betray you". These were the words spoken by Pope Francis at Mass during which he welcomed hundreds of catechumens from all over the world. 500 from 47 different countries in a rite of admission that is the penultimate event of the Year of Faith, which closes tomorrow with a solemn Mass in St. Peter's.

    Welcoming the group in the atrium of the basilica, the Bishop of Rome said: " It gives me great joy to receive you here in the basilica that houses the relics of the Apostle Peter, to whom we all look to be confirmed in the faith . The Word of God is made flesh to reach the man, bewildered by his pride in sin. You too have been touched by His passionate search and now you are preparing to receive His mercy. The Church urges you to reach the fullness of communion with Him. " Mahmoud Farah, Romina , Yoko (who wore a traditional Japanese robe and exchanged a few words with the Pope before receiving the sign of the cross on her forehead) , Olzi , Rami, Francesca , Kriztof , Mimosa , Zhao are some of the names that are pronounced before the Pope's questions: "What do you ask of the Church? Faith. And what does faith give? Eternal life ." Immediately after the rites of entry into the catechumenate , Francis invited the group into the basilica to begin the Mass.

    In his homily , the pope said : "Dear catechumens , this culmination of the Year of Faith sees you gathered here , with your catechists and family members, representing also many other men and women who are making , in different parts of the world , your same journey of faith . Spiritually , we are all connected at this time. You come from many different countries , from different cultural traditions and experiences . Yet , tonight we feel we have many things in common among us. We have one in particular : the desire for God. This desire is evoked by the words of the Psalmist : " As the deer longs for streams of water, so my soul longs for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, the living God. When can I enter and see the face of God?  "(Ps 42.2 to 3 .) How important it is to keep alive this desire, this longing to meet the Lord and experience Him , his love , his mercy. If this thirst the living God is missing, faith is likely to become habit, like a fire that is not rekindled.  It is likely to become stale, meaningless".

    The Gospel story, the Pope noted , "shows John the Baptist who indicates Jesus to his disciples as the Lamb of God.Two of them follow the Master, and then, in turn , become ' mediators ' who allow others to meet the Lord , to know and to follow him. There are three moments in this story that evoke the experience of the catechumenate . Firstly, there is the listening. The two disciples heard the testimony of John the Baptist . Even you, dear catechumens , you listened to those who spoke of Jesus and you have proposed you to follow him and become his disciples by Baptism . In the tumult of many voices that echo around us and inside of us , you have heard and received the voice that indicated Jesus as the only one who can give full meaning to your life. "

    The second moment is encounter: "The two disciples encounter the Master and remain with him. After encountering him, they immediately notice something new in their hearts : the need to convey their joy to others, so that they too can encounter Him. Andrew, in fact, met his brother Simon and leads him to Jesus.  It does us good to contemplate this!  It reminds us that God did not create us to be alone, locked within ourselves, but in order to encounter him and to be open to encountering others . God first comes to each of us, and this is wonderful! He comes to meet us. In the Bible God always appears as the one who takes the initiative to encounter man : it is He who is looking for man , and usually just as the man is in the midst of bitter experiences and tragic betrayal of God, fleeing from Him. God does not wait to look for him: he goes immediately to look for him. Our Father is a patient seeker, He goes before us and is always waiting". And when he encounters us, said Francis, "it is never a hurried meeting , because God wishes to stay with us at length, to support us, to console us , to give us His joy. God hastens to meet us. But He is never in a hurry to leave us , He stays with us . Just as we yearn for Him and desire Him, He too desires to be with us, because we belong to Him, we are His, we are His creatures. He too thirsts for us, to meet us. Our God thirsts for us. This is the heart of God, and it is nice to hear that. "

    The last part of the story is the journey: " The two disciples walk toward Jesus and then journey a stretch of road with Him.  This is an important lesson for all of us . Faith is a journey with Jesus .. always remember this: faith is to walk with Jesus, a journey that lasts a lifetime . Eventually there will be an ending . Of course, in some moments of this journey we feel tired and confused. But faith gives us the certainty of the constant presence of Jesus in every situation, even the most painful or difficult to understand. We are called to journey deeper and deeper into the mystery of the love of God that is all encompassing and enables us to live with peace and hope. "

    In conclusion, the Pope entrusted the group to support the Church and Mary, the perfect disciple , and encouraged them to never forget "the day , the hour in which you were with Jesus for the first time, you felt his gaze on of you . Never forget that Jesus' gaze is on you , you, you ... it's a look of love! You are always assured the faithful love of the Lord. He is faithful, and make no mistake : He will not let you down ever. And after the prayer of the faithful, he concluded " go in peace and with joy, because the Lord has seen you and loves you ."

     

     

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    See also

    18/11/2013 VATICAN
    Pope to end the Year of Faith with Apostolic Exhortation 'Evangelii gaudium'
    The document will be presented symbolically to a bishop, a priest and a deacon at the Mass that ends the Year of Faith, a ritual that will see for the first time the public exhibit of the relics of Saint Peter. The other "events" that will bring to a close this period include Pope Francis' visit on Thursday to the monastery of the Camaldolese Nuns on the Aventine Hill, as well as his presence on Saturday at the induction of new catechumens.

    24/11/2013 VATICAN
    Pope closes the Year of Faith, Christ is the center of creation, people, history
    "Rediscovering the beauty of the journey of faith". " Jesus speaks only words of forgiveness, not condemnation." For the first time in history the relics of St. Peter exposed. The symbolic delivery of Evangelii gaudium . Peace and harmony for the Christians of the Holy Land and Syria. Solidarity for the Philippines. "Invoking Mary's protection especially for our brothers and sisters who are persecuted because of their faith ''

    26/10/2013 VATICAN
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    Francis met families from 75 countries from around the world who are in Rome on a pilgrimage to the tomb of Saint Peter, one of the last events scheduled for the Year of Faith. In the crowded square, the pope talked about marriage, saying that it is about "Setting out and walking together, hand in hand, putting yourselves in the Lord's powerful hands. [. . .] With trust in God's faithfulness, everything can be faced responsibly and without fear." He also appealed for the indissolubility of marriage, saying "Pay no attention to this culture of the temporary that cuts our life in pieces". Also show respect to the elderly. "A people that does not listen to them will die!"

    11/09/2013 VATICAN
    Pope: we all share in the motherhood of the Church, to bring the faith to the ends of the Earth
    At the General audience, Francis speaks of "Mother Church ", " for me this is the most beautiful image of the Church”. " Sometimes I hear: ' I believe in God but not in the Church. I have heard that the Church says ... ' . But who , when did it say this? - ' No, the priests say ... ' . But, priests are one thing... the Church is not only the priests: we are all the Church " .

    28/04/2013 VATICAN
    Pope: The Holy Spirit, through us, wants to transform the world in which we live
    Francis confirms 44 young people from around the world, one of the events for the Year of Faith. “The new things of God are not like the novelties of this world, all of which are temporary; they come and go, and we keep looking for more. The new things which God gives to our lives are lasting”. Christ gives us "the strength to swim against the tide " and overcome our fears. "With him we can do great things." "Hold on to your ideals." At the Regina Caeli an appeal for the Bangladesh tragedy, that "the dignity and safety of the worker is always protected."



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