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Apostolic Trip of the Holy Father Francis in Colombia (6-11 September 2017) – Words of the Holy Father at the Apostolic Nunciature of Bogotá, 10.09.2017

The following is the Holy Father’s off-the-cuff address to groups of consecrated persons, newlyweds and couples celebrating their gold and silver wedding anniversaries, who welcomed him yesterday evening outside the apostolic nunciature in Bogotá.


Words of the Holy Father

Each of those who came heard that Jesus said something to them, that Jesus said what their name was and that He wanted them in that road. And when at the beginning the priest sang what Jesus said to Peter, I said to myself: how Peter would have been happy when this was said to him; and I think of how we are all happy when Jesus says to us: I want you for such a post, for this, for that, for this road, that you are a nun, that you get married and form a family, that you care for… and so on.

It comes to my mind that when Peter heard Jesus say to him, “Peter, you are the rock”, He gives him his name, he will have thought, “This He said to me when He met me, He said to me that I was Peter”, and he will have started to realise that the same name had different melodies, different forms of music. Just as the song you sang has different forms of music. And so Peter went ahead, happy and bold, but fifteen minutes later Jesus told him the opposite, saying, away, you are Satan to me. Peter was mistaken.

And then I think of the times that Peter remembered what Jesus had said to him that night of [Holy] Thursday, when, so sure of himself, he said: “I don’t know him”. How he will have thought of what he had said. And how he will have remembered what Jesus had said to him, when He saw him leave the cell, looked at him and began to weep.

That is, what Jesus says to us, one lives in the course of one’s life. The same word, the same vocation, in different ways. Life leads us to live it in joy, in pain, in sin, in a greater grace… What Peter did that Thursday night, weeping, he will have hidden himself away for shame, he will have gone to find Jesus’ mother, to ask her for advice, we do not know.

And then, he was hidden away, fearful, and after Jesus asked him three times if he loved Him, and he remembers and says, I understand nothing, and it is another melody with the same name. I would like for each one of us to remember the first call, when Jesus gave us a name, the first vocation, the first love, and for us to set it to the different forms of music of life. In what brings us life, beautiful moments, moments of fullness, moments of error, moments of sin, dark moments, moments of wanting to break everything up and start something else… But do not lose the name. Jesus has given a name to each one of us and has placed us on a path, a path of consecration: in family life and in the consecrated family. A road of giving to Him and to our brothers in His name. So, each time we must newly conjugate this name in the different situations we are called upon to live. When Jesus calls us and gives us a name, He does not give us assurance on life: we must defend this ourselves with humility, prayer and supplication to the Lord. Lord, give us strength, so that each one of us can go ahead on the road to which we are called. But no-one has the certainty of perseverance in that name: we must ask for it. Do not forget. If you wish to triumph in life as Jesus wants, then beg for it, because the protagonist of history is the beggar, the protagonist of the history of salvation is the beggar, whom each one of us carries within. Thank you for this! And may you be able to continue to give this testimony, and may it bear much fruit. Thank you!