Before the Angelus
After the Angelus
At midday today, the Holy Father Francis appeared at the window of his study in the Vatican Apostolic Palace to pray the Angelus with the faithful and pilgrims gathered in Saint Peter’s Square.
The following is the Pope’s introduction to the Marian prayer:
Before the Angelus
Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!
First of all, please excuse me for the delay, but there was an incident: I was stuck in the elevator for 25 minutes! There was a power cut and the elevator stopped. Thanks to God the fire brigade came – thank you very much! – and after 25 minutes of work they managed to make it start up again. Let us applaud the firemen!
This Sunday’s Gospel reading (see Lk 14. 1.7-14) shows us Jesus Who participates in a banquet in the house of a chief of the Pharisees. Jesus looks and observes how the guests rush and hurry to obtain the first places. It is quite a widespread attitude, in our days too, and not only when one is invited to lunch. usually, one seeks the first place to state a presumed superiority over the others. In reality, this rush to the first place harms the community, both civil and ecclesial, as it ruins fraternity. We all know these people: climbers, who always climb to go up, up… They harm fraternity, damage fraternity. Faced with this scene, Jesus tells two brief parables.
The first parable is addressed to he who is invited to the banquet, and he exhorts him not to place himself in first place, “lest someone more distinguished than you be invited by him, and he who invited you both will come and say to you, ‘Give your place to this person’, and then you will begin with shame to take the lowest place” (8-9). Jesus instead teaches us to have the opposite attitude: “But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that when your host comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher’” (10). So, we must not seek the attention and consideration of others by our own initiative, but rather let others give this to us. Jesus always shows us the way of humility – we must learn the way of humility! – because it is the most authentic one, which also allows us to have authentic relationships. True humility, not false humility, which in Piedmont is known as the mugna quacia, no, that no. True humility.
In the second parable, Jesus addresses he who invites and, referring to the way of choosing the guests, says: “When you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, but because they cannot repay you” (13-14). Here too, Jesus goes completely against the grain, manifesting as always the logic of God the Father. And He also adds the key to interpreting this discourse of His. And what is the key? A promise: if you do this, “you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just” (14). This means that whoever behaves in this way will have the divine reward, far superior to human exchange: I will do you this favour and wait for you to do me another one. No, this is not Christian. Humble generosity is Christian. Human exchange, in fact, usually distorts relationships, makes them “commercial”, introducing personal interest in a relationship that should be generous and free. Instead, Jesus invites to selfless generosity, to open the way for a much greater joy, the joy of being part of the very love of God that awaits us, all of us, in the heavenly banquet.
May the Virgin Mary, “humble and high beyond all other creature” (Dante, Paradiso, XXXIII, 2), help us to recognize ourselves as we are, that is, as little; and to rejoice in giving without exchange.
After the Angelus
Dear brothers and sisters,
Today, 1 September, is the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation. An ecumenical prayer, which inspires the awareness and commitment to protect our common home, starting from a more sustainable personal and family lifestyle. From today until 4 October, the feast of Saint Francis of Assisi, is a time conducive to the praise of God for all His creatures and for the assumption of responsibility in the face of the cry of the Earth.
I greet all of you from Italy and various parts of the world. In particular, I greet the Ukrainian pilgrims – Slava Jisusu Khristu! – who have come from different countries on the occasion of the Synod of Bishops of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church, to take place in Rome in the coming days. I greet the Sisters and young people in formation at the Institute of Saint Joseph Benedict Cottolengo. Thank you! Thank you for your testimony! Thank you for what you do and for what you teach us; keep going! The cyclists of Cunardo and the faithful of Cerro di Bottanuco; the group of Catholic Action of Lecce and the young people of San Matteo della Decima, Gallo Ferrarese and Capriate San Gervasio.
Next Wednesday, God willing, I will leave for an apostolic trip to Africa, to visit the people of Mozambique, Madagascar and Mauritius. I ask you to accompany me with prayer, so that this pastoral visit may bring the desired fruits.
On 5 October next I will hold a Consistory for the appointment of ten new Cardinals. Their origin expresses the missionary vocation of the Church, who continues to proclaim God’s merciful love to all people on earth. Here are the names of the new cardinals:
Bishop Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue;
Archbishop José Tolentino Calaça de Mendonça, archivist and librarian of the Holy Roman Church;
Archbishop Ignatius Suharyo Hardjoatmodjo of Jakarta;
Archbishop Juan de la Caridad García Rodríguez of San Cristóbal de la Habana;
Archbishop Fridolin Ambongo Besungu of Kinshasa;
Archbishop Jean-Claude Hollerich, S.J., of Luxembourg;
Archbishop Álvaro Leonel Ramazzini Imeri of Huehuetenango;
Archbishop Matteo Zuppi of Bologna;
Archbishop Cristóbal López Romero of Rabat;
Fr. Michael Czerny, S.J., under-secretary of the Section for Migrants of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development.
Together with them, I will add to the members of the College of Cardinals two archbishops and a bishop who have distinguished themselves for their service to the Church: Archbishop Michael Louis Fitzgerald, emeritus of Nepte; Archbishop Sigitas Tamkevičius, emeritus of Kaunas; and Bishop Eugenio Dal Corso, emeritus of Benguela.
Let us pray for the new Cardinals so that, confirming their adherence to Christ, they will help me in my ministry as Bishop of Rome for the good of all the faithful holy people of God.