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POPE FRANCIS POINTS TO LIFESTYLE OF CHRIST'S COMMUNITY

 

Here is a ZENIT translation of the address Pope Francis gave May 6, 2018, before and after praying the midday Regina Coeli with those gathered in St. Peter’s Square.

 

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Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!

 

In this Easter Season, the Word of God continues to point out to us coherent lifestyles to be the community of the Risen One. Among these, today’s Gospel presents Jesus’ charge: “abide in my love” (John 15:9). To inhabit the current of God’s love, to have a stable dwelling is the condition so that our love doesn’t lose its ardor and daring on the way. Like Jesus and in Him, we must also receive with gratitude the love that comes from the Father and abide in this love, trying not to separate ourselves by egoism and sin. It’s a demanding but not impossible program.

 

First of all, it’s important to be aware that Christ’s love is not a superficial feeling, but an essential attitude of the heart, which is manifested in living as He wishes. In fact, Jesus affirms: “If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in His love” (v. 10). Love is realized in everyday life, in attitudes <and> in actions, otherwise, it’s something illusory. Jesus asks us to keep His commandments, which are summarized in this “phrase”: “that you love one another as I have loved you” (v. 12).

 

How can we make this love, which the Risen Lord gives us, be able to be shared with others? Jesus often pointed out who was the other to be loved, not in words but in deeds. It’s he whom I meet on my path and who, with his face and his history, questions me; it’s he who with his very presence, pushes me to come out of my interests and my securities; it’s he who waits for my willingness to listen and to go a little way together. Availability to every brother and sister, regardless of who he is and in what situation he finds himself, beginning with one who is close to me in the family, in the community, at work, at school . . . So, if I remain united to Jesus, His love can reach the other and draw him to Himself, to His friendship.

 

And this love for others can’t be reserved for exceptional moments but must become a constant of our existence. That’s why we are called to protect the elderly as a precious treasure, and with love, even if they create economic problems and hardships. That’s why to the sick, even if in the last stage, we must give all the assistance possible. That’s why the unborn are always received; that’s why, in the end, life is always protected and loved from conception until its natural end. God loves us in Jesus Christ, who asks that we love as He loves us. However, we can’t do this if we don’t have in ourselves His very Heart. The purpose of the Eucharist, in which we are called to participate every Sunday, is to form in us the Heart of Christ so that all our life is guided by His generous attitudes. May the Virgin Mary help us to abide in Jesus’ love and to grow in love towards all, especially the weakest, to correspond fully to our Christian vocation.

 

[Original text: Italian] 

 © Libreria Editrice Vatican 



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