At the Angelus Pope Francis expresses unity with the Italian bishops. "Every life is sacred." "Both the child about to be born and the person who is going to die." Christians must "be the light and salt in your daily life environment". "Keep away from the pollutants germs of selfishness, envy, slander". Our communities must shine "as places of welcome, solidarity and reconciliation".
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - As a "response to the logic of a throw away culture and demographic decline", we need to promote the "culture of life" following the example of St. Theresa of Calcutta " said Pope Francis to the tens of thousands of pilgrims and members of the Movement for Life gathered in St Peter's Square for the Angelus prayer, repeating the phrase "Every life is sacred" at least three times.
The pontiff expressed unity "with the Italian bishops in expressing a bold educational action in favor of human life", on the occasion of the Day for Life celebrated today in Italy, which this year has the theme "Women and men for life in the wake of Santa Teresa of Calcutta ".
"Every life is sacred. We carry forward the culture of life in response to the logic of a throw away culture and demographic decline. We are neighbors and together we pray for children who are at risk of abortion, as well as for people at the end of life. All life is sacred, because no one is left alone and love defends the meaning of life. We recall the words of Mother Teresa: "Life is beauty, admire it; life is life, defend it. " Both with the child about to be born and the person who is dying. All life is sacred. "
Francis greeted "all those who work for life, the teachers of the Roman universities and those who work for the formation of the new generations, so that they are able to build a comfortable and worthy society for each person."
Earlier, the pope reflected on the Gospel of today's Mass (5th year for A, Matthew 5,13-16) in which Jesus speaks of "the mission of his disciples" using the metaphors of the "salt of the earth" and "light of the world".
"His words - he explained - are directed to the disciples of every age, so also to us. Jesus invites us to be a reflection of His light, through the witness of good works. "
"So we have a duty and a responsibility for the gift received: we should not hold the light of faith, that is in us through Christ and the Holy Spirit, as if it were our property. Instead, we are called to shine it in the world, to give it to others through good works. And the world needs the light of the Gospel that transforms, heals and provides salvation to those who accept it.”
Recalling that in ancient times salt was used to preserve "the alteration and corruption of food - there were no refrigerators in Jesus’ time!", he added: "The mission of Christians in society is to give 'flavor 'to life with faith and love that Christ has given us, and at the same time to keep out the pollutant germs of selfishness, envy, slander, and so on. These germs ruin the fabric of our communities, which must instead shine as places of welcome, solidarity and reconciliation. To fulfill this mission, we must ourselves first pray that we may be delivered from degeneration, from the corrupting influence of worldly influences, opposed to Christ and the Gospel; and this purification never ends, it must be made continuously. "
“Each of us - he concluded - is called to be the light and salt in our daily life environment, persevering in the task of regenerating the human reality in the spirit of the Gospel and in the perspective of the kingdom of God. Our Lady, Mary, is always there to help protect, the first disciple of Jesus and model of believers who live every day in the history of their vocation and mission. Our Mother will help us to let ourselves be purified and enlightened by the Lord, to become in our turn 'salt of the earth' and 'light of the world' ".