Before the Regina Coeli
After the Regina Coeli
At midday today, Sixth Sunday of Easter, the Holy Father Francis appeared at the window of his study in the Vatican Apostolic Palace to pray the Regina Coeli with the faithful and pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square.
The following is the Pope’s introduction to the Marian prayer:
Before the Regina Coeli
Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!
In this Easter time the Word of God continues to show us the In this Easter time the Word of God continues to show us coherent lifestyles for being the community of the Risen One. Among these, today’s Gospel presents Jesus’ instruction: “abide in my love” (Jn 15: 9). To abide in the current of God’s love, to have a stable dwelling is the condition for ensuring our love does not lose its ardour and boldness 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, seeking not to separate ourselves from it by egoism and sin. It is a demanding but not impossible plan.
First of all, it is important to be aware that Christ’s love is not a superficial feeling, no, but rather a fundamental attitude of the heart, manifested in living as He wishes. In fact, Jesus affirms: “If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in His love” (v. 10). Love is realized in everyday life, in attitudes, in actions; otherwise, it is illusory. Jesus asks us to keep His commandments, which are summarized in this “phrase”: “love each another as I have loved you” (v. 12).
How can we ensure that this love, which the Risen Lord gives us, can be shared with others? Jesus often pointed out who was the other to be loved, not in words but in deeds. It is he whom I meet on my path and who, with his face and his history, questions me; it is he who with his very presence, pushes me to come out of my interests and my securities; it is 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, starting with those who are close to me in the family, in the community, at work, at school... In this way, 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 is why we are called to protect the elderly as a precious treasure, and with love; even if they create economic problems and hardships. That is why we must give all the assistance possible to the sick, even if in the final stage. That’s why the unborn must always be received; that is why, in the end, life is always protected and loved from conception until its natural end. And this is love.
We are loved by God in Jesus Christ, Who asks us to love each other as He loves us. However, we cannot do this if we do not have His same Heart in us. The Eucharist, in which we are called to participate every Sunday, has the purpose of forming 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.
After the Regina Coeli
Dear brothers and sisters,
Yesterday, in Aachen, Germany, Clare Fey was proclaimed blessed. Founder of the Sisters of the Poor Baby Jesus, she lived in the second half of the nineteenth century. Let us give thanks to God for this zealous witness of the Gospel, devoted educator of disadvantaged youth.
I invite you to pray for the population of the Central African Republic, a country I have had the joy of visiting and which I carry in my heart, and where in recent days there has been serious violence with numerous deaths and injuries, one of whom is a priest. May the Lord, by the intercession of the Virgin Mary, help everyone to say not to violence and vengeance, to build peace together.
I greet you all, Romans and pilgrims, in particular those from Oviedo, Spain, students from Vrbové, Slovakia, and altar servers from Berne. A special greeting goes to the new Swiss Guards, their families and their friends, on the feast day of this historic and meritorious Corps. An applause to them!
I greet the representatives of the Meter Association, which I encourage to continue in its efforts to help children who are victims of violence; as well as the faithful of Piacenza and Borgoricco and gymnasts from Castelfranco Emilia.
I have also heard some songs from the Neocatechumenal Way… There they are! Thank you! Thank you for your work of evangelization. You are everywhere, thank you!
I also greet all the detainees of the prison in Latina, who are spiritually joined with us in this moment.
I wish you all a good Sunday. And please, do not forget to pray for me. Have a good lunch, and goodbye!