Pope: May Chinese Catholics become concrete sign of love and reconciliation

After the Angelus, Francis remembers the Day of Prayer for the Church in China, which falls on May 24: "Let us ask Mary to give to his children in China the ability to discern at all times the signs of the loving presence of God, that always welcomes and forgives. " Before the Marian prayer, a reflection on the Holy Trinity: "This feast invites us to engage in the daily events to be leaven of communion, of consolation and of mercy."


Vatican City (AsiaNews) – “May Chinese Catholics, together with those who follow other noble religious traditions, become concrete signs of charity and reconciliation. In this way, they will promote an authentic culture of encounter and the harmony of all society , was Pope Francis wish after the midday prayer. May 24 is the Day of Prayer for the Church in China dedicated to the Virgin of Sheshan "help of Christians." Let us ask Mary, the Pope added, "to give to her sons and daughters in China the capacity to discern in every situation the signs of the loving presence of God, who always welcomes and always forgives".

Before the prayer, Francis spoke of the Most Holy Trinity and the Gospel of John in which Christ explained to his disciples the deeper truths concerning him: "Jesus knows that the fulfillment of the Father’s plan is near, which will be completed with his death and resurrection. Because of this he wants to assure his followers that he won’t abandon them, because his mission will be prolonged by the Holy Spirit. It will be the Holy Spirit who prolongs the mission of Jesus, that is, to guide the Church forward".

Jesus reveals what this mission is: “In the first place, the Spirit guides us to understand the many things that Jesus himself still has to say (cf John 16:12). This doesn’t refer to new or special doctrines, but to a full understanding of all that the Son has heard from the Father and has made known to the disciples (cf verse 15). The Spirit guides us in new existential situations with a gaze fixed on Jesus and at the same time, open to events and to the future. He helps us to walk in history, firmly rooted in the Gospel and with a dynamic fidelity to our traditions and customs".

But the mystery of the Trinity also speaks to us of ourselves, of our relationship with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. In fact, through baptism, the Holy Spirit has placed us in the prayer and the very life of God, who is a communion of love. God is a “family” of three Persons who love each other so much they form a single thing. This “divine family” is not closed in on itself, but is open. It communicates itself in creation and in history and has entered into the world of men to call everyone to form part of it. The trinitarian horizon of communion surrounds all of us and stimulates us to live in love and fraternal sharing, certain that where there is love, there is God".

Our being created in the image and likeness of God-Communion calls us to understand ourselves as beings-in-relationship and to live interpersonal relations in solidarity and mutual love.

Such relationships play out, above all, in the sphere of our ecclesial communities, so that the image of the Church as icon of the Trinity is ever clearer. But also in every social relationship, from the family to friendships, to work environments, all of them: they are all concrete occasions offered to us in order to build relationships that are increasingly humanly rich, capable of reciprocal respect and disinterested love.

The feast of the Holy Trinity concluded Francis “invites us to commit ourselves in daily events to being leaven of communion, consolation and mercy. In this mission, we are sustained by the strength that the Holy Spirit gives us: he takes care of the flesh of humanity, wounded by injustice, oppression, hate and avarice.The Virgin Mary, in her humility, welcomed the Father’s will and conceived the Son by the Holy Spirit. May she, Mirror of the Trinity, help us to strengthen our faith in the trinitarian mystery and to translate it to action with choices and attitudes of love and unity".

Immediately after the Angelus, the Pope recalled the beatification of Francesco Maria Greco yesterday in Cosenza (an announcement greeted by applause, the Pope then called for an applause for "the many good priests who are here in Italy") and the beginning, tomorrow in Istanbul, of the first World humanitarian Summit, aimed to reflect on the measures to be taken to meet the dramatic humanitarian situations caused by conflicts, environmental problems and extreme poverty: "Let us accompany with prayer the participants in this gathering so they fully commit to reaching the principal humanitarian objective: saving the life of every human being, with no one excluded, in particular the innocent and most defenseless”. The Holy See will participate in this encounter, with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the secretary of state, who “will travel there to represent the Holy See."

Soon after, Francis added: "On Tuesday May 24, we spiritually unite ourselves to the faithful of China, who on this day celebrate with particular devotion the memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Help of Christians, who is venerated at the Sanctuary of Sheshan in Shanghai. Let us ask Mary to give to her sons and daughters in China the capacity to discern in every situation the signs of the loving presence of God, who always welcomes and always forgives. In this Holy Year of Mercy, may Chinese Catholics, together with those who follow other noble religious traditions, become concrete signs of charity and reconciliation. In this way, they will promote an authentic culture of encounter and the harmony of all society. This harmony that the Chinese spirit so loves".

After greetings to the faithful - the pope was especially "pleased to welcome" the Orthodox faithful of the Metropolis of Berat, Albania, whom he thanked "for their ecumenical witness" - Francis greeted the Chinese Catholic community in Rome and wished all "a good Sunday. Please do not forget to pray for me. Have a good lunch and goodbye!".

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