Vatican City ( AsiaNews) - Read "a
small passage from the Gospel every day" and then "offer it to those we meet":
this is Pope Francis' suggestion to faithful this Sunday before the Angelus
prayer in front of tens of thousands of pilgrims
gathered in St. Peter's Square.
Commenting on the Gospel for the
second Sunday of Lent, which recounts the Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-9), the
Pope focused on the words that the Father says to the apostles on Mount Tabor,
where the miracle takes place: "Listen to him"
(v. 5) .
invitation of the Father is very important", he added. "These are important
words, which God says: Listen to him. Listen to Jesus. It's not the Pope who is
saying it, God says it. We, the disciples of Jesus, are called to be people
who listen to his voice and take his words seriously".
And in unscripted remarks, the Pope
added: "We listen to Jesus even in the written word. Let me ask you this question.
Do you read a passage from the Gospel every day? ". And
after observing the reactions of the crowd, the Pope noted: "Some yes some
no, half and half. But it's important. It's a good idea to have a pocket sized
Gospel that you can carry with you and read a small passage from at any given
time of the day. And there we find Jesus
who speaks to us. Think about this, you don't even have to have all four [Gospels],
one is enough".
"In this episode of the
Transfiguration - he continued - I would like to take up two meaningful
elements that I can summarize in two words: ascent and descent. We need to take
time out, to climb the mountain in a space of silence, to find ourselves and better
hear the voice of the Lord. But we can not stay there! Our encounter with God
in prayer propels us back "down the mountain " and back down onto the
plain, where we meet many brothers and sisters weighed down by fatigue,
injustice, ignorance, material and
spiritual poverty. We are called to bear
the fruits of our experience with God to these our brothers and sister who are
in trouble, sharing with them the treasures of the grace received".
And once again moving away from
the prepared script, the Pope added: "When we hear the word of Jesus and we
hold it in our hearts, the word of Jesus grows in us ... And when does it grow?
When we proclaim, when we give it to others. This is the Church's
mission: to listen to Jesus and offer it to others". And in a small question and answer session
with the crowds below, the Pope asked: "Will you do that [read the gospel]?
Next Sunday tell me if you do: read a short passage from the Gospel every day".
After the Marian prayer, Pope Francis greeted various groups present in
the square. Among
these, "the Pope John XXIII Community, founded by Don Oreste Benzi, who
will hold a special 'Via Crucis' [Way of the Cross] through the streets of Rome next Friday for women victims of trafficking. They are very good, no?"
special greeting was to "the many schools from many parts of Italy and
other countries." "I
can not name them all!". However he
made special mention of the "Catholic schools 'Mar Qardakh' in Erbil ,
Kurdistan , and the Diocese of London in Ontario - Canada".
During the greetings, preceded
and followed by a moment of silence, Francis invited all "to pray for the
passengers of the plane [missing
or hijacked] and their families in Malaysia. We are close to them at