YOU GOTTA LOVE HIM!
A young boy upstaged Pope Francis on Wednesday, escaping from his mother and running onto the papal podium at a general audience, tugging on the hand of a Swiss guardsman and playing behind the pontiff’s chair. (Reuters story and photo)
The boy’s mother briefly spoke to the pope as she tried to pull the child away, saying that he was mute. Pope Francis told her to let him carry on playing.
“This child cannot speak. He is mute. But he can communicate,” the pope told hundreds of pilgrims. “And he has something that got me thinking: he is free. Unruly … but he is free,” he added to laughter.
“Let’s ask the grace (of God) that he may speak.”
The mother told the pope that the family came from his native Argentina. As she left the stage, a smiling Francis leaned towards Archbishop Georg Gaenswein sitting next to him and whispered: “He is Argentinian. Undisciplined.”
THE 10 COMMANDMENTS ARE “A GUIDE TO AN AUTHENTIC HUMAN LIFE”
Pope Francis concluded his catechesis on the Ten Commandments during the Wednesday general audience, reflecting on them in the light of Christ.
“Dear brothers and sisters, “ he began. “In this, our final catechesis on the Ten Commandments, we reflect on how, in the light of Christ, the Decalogue should be seen not as a series of rules, but rather the guide to an authentic human life that comes to fulfilment in the love, joy and peace born of obedience to the Father’s will. Our Lord came not to abolish the Law but to fulfil it.”
Francis noted that, “the Holy Spirit, by enabling us to live a new life in Christ, takes away our hearts of flesh and opens them to the holy desire to abandon sin and to be conformed to Jesus’ own heart, his love and his desires.”
The Holy Father explained that, “the Ten Commandments invite us first to enter into a faithful and loving relationship with God our Father, to reject every false idol that enslaves us, and to find our authentic rest in the freedom of Christ and the Holy Spirit. They then teach us how to live redeemed lives, marked by fidelity, integrity and honesty towards our neighbor.”
In conclusion, Pope Francis said, “the commandments show us the face of Christ and open the door to the new life of grace; by accepting God’s offer of saving love, we find our true selves and the source of a joy that will never end.”
POPE FRANCIS EXPRESSES CLOSENESS TO “MARTYRED LAND OF SYRIA”
Pope Francis sends a letter to the Franciscans stationed in Syria, saying the Church sees Jesus’ suffering in the trials and poverty of the Syrian people.
By Devin Watkins (vaticannews)
In a letter sent to Franciscan friars in Syria, Pope Francis expressed his closeness to the “martyred land of Syria.”
“I wish to share in your sufferings and tell you that I am close to you and to the Christian communities which are so tried by the pain experienced in their faith in Christ Jesus.”
The Pope’s letter was addressed to Fathers Hanna Jallouf and Louai Bsharat, OFM.
Pope Francis reflected on the great suffering, poverty, and pain that Jesus experiences in the Syrian people. “It is Jesus! This is a mystery. It is our Christian mystery. In you and in the inhabitants of our beloved Syria, we see Jesus suffering.”
Pope Francis compared their sufferings to martyrdom. “Nothing more than martyrdom can mark the Christian’s way of participating in humanity’s salvation history.”
He said martyrs advance the Kingdom of God and “sow Christians for the future.”
Calling them “the true glory of the Church and our hope”, the Holy Father said the witness of martyrs is “a warning not to get lost even in the midst of the storm.”
“Not a few times the sea of life has a storm awaiting us, but out of the existential waves we receive an unexpected sign of salvation: Mary, the Mother of the Lord, looking in astonishment and silence at the innocent, crucified Son who fills life and salvation with meaning.”
Pain into hope
Pope Francis assured the Franciscan friars stationed in Syria that he remembers them constantly during Mass and prays that their “unspeakable pain” may be transformed into divine hope.
He then quoted Paul’s Letter to the Romans: “What will separate us from the love of Christ? Will anguish, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword? As it is written: ‘For your sake we are being slain all the day; we are looked upon as sheep to be slaughtered.’ No, in all these things we conquer overwhelmingly through him who loved us.”
Finally, Pope Francis prayed that the Virgin Mary guard the Franciscans in Syria “under her Cloak of Grace” and that she intercede for them to receive “the gift of perseverance.”