Pope: Without love, both life and faith remain sterile
At the Angelus, Pope Francis emphasizes the way Jesus lived: "preaching and working for what really matters and is essential, that is, love." "Jesus wants to make it clear that without love of God and neighbor there is no true fidelity." "We need to receive in us the ability to love that comes from God Himself." In Brazil yesterday Murialdo priest Giovanni Schiavo, was beatified.
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - "Without love, both life and faith remain sterile” said Pope Francis today, noting that "Jesus lived his life for good: preaching and working for really matters and is essential, that is love."
This is how the Pope summarized today’s Gospel (30th Sunday to A, Matthew, 22: 34-40) in his reflection before the Angelus prayer with pilgrims in Saint Peter's Square. The Gospel recounts Christ’s response to the question: "What is the great commandment?"
"Jesus," said Francis, "has no hesitation and replies:"You will love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind. " And he adds: "You will love your neighbor as yourself" (vv. 37.39) ".
"This response by Jesus is not taken for granted, because among the many precepts of Jewish law the most important were the Ten Commandments, communicated directly by God to Moses as conditions of the covenant of alliance with the people. But Jesus wants to make it clear that without love of God and neighbor there is no true fidelity to this alliance with the Lord. This is confirmed by another text of the Book of Exodus, known as the “Code of the Covenant", where it is said that one can not have a covenant with the Lord and mistreat those who enjoy His protection: the widow, the orphan, and the foreigner, the migrant, that is, the most abandoned and helpless people (cf. Es 22: 20-21). Responding to those Pharisees who had questioned him, Jesus also seeks to help them put order in their religiosity, to re-establish what really matters and what is less important. He says: "From these two commandments depend all the Laws and the Prophets" (Mt 22.40). "
"And Jesus lived his life so well: preaching and doing what really matters and is essential, that is, love. Love gives momentum and fecundity to the life and path of faith: without love, both life and faith remain sterile. What Jesus proposes in this evangelical passage is a wonderful ideal that corresponds to the most authentic desire of our heart. In fact, we have been created to love and be loved. God, who is Love, has created us to make us part of His life, to be loved and to love Him, and to love with Him all the other people. This is God's "dream" for man. And in order to accomplish it we need his grace, we need to receive in us the ability to love that comes from God Himself. Jesus offers us in the Eucharist precisely for this. In it we receive our Body and Blood, that is, we receive Jesus in the maximum expression of His love, when He has offered himself to the Father for our salvation. "
"The Blessed Virgin - he concluded - helps us to receive in our lives the" great commandment "of the love of God and neighbor. In fact, even if we know him since we were children, we must ceaselessly convert it and put it into practice in the different situations we are in."
After the Marian prayer, the Pope announced that in Caxias do Sul (Brazil) Giovanni Schiavo, priest of the Giuseppini del Murialdo Congregation was proclaimed Blessed. "Born in the Vicenza hills in the early 1900s, he said, as a young priest he was sent to Brazil where he worked with zeal to serve the people of God and the formation of religious. His example helps us live fully in our adherence to Christ and the Gospel."