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Sunday, February 5, 2017
#ProLife message of #PopeFrancis "...Life, defend it!” be it with the unborn child, be it with the person who is close to dying: every life is sacred!" Angelus - FULL TEXT + Video
Before the Angelus
Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!
In these Sundays the liturgy proposes to us the so-called Sermon on the Mount, in Matthew’s Gospel. After having presented the Beatitudes last Sunday, today it highlights Jesus’ words, which describe the mission of His disciples in the world (cf. Matthew 5:13-16). He uses the metaphor of salt and light, and His words are addressed to disciples of all times, hence also to us.
Jesus invites us to be a reflection of His light, through the testimony of good works. He says: ”Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). These words underline that we are recognizable as true disciples of Him who is Light of the world, not in words, but by our works. In fact, it is above all our behavior that — in the good and in the bad – leaves a sign in others. Hence we have a task and a responsibility for the gift received: the light of faith, which is in us through Christ and the action of the Holy Spirit, we must not keep as if it were our property. Instead, we are called to make it shine in the world, to give it to others through good works. And how much the world needs the light of the Gospel, which transforms, heals and guarantees salvation to those who receive it! We must take this light with our good works.
By giving itself, the light of our faith is not extinguished but reinforced. Instead, it can fail if we do not nourish it with love and with works of charity. Thus the image of light meets with that of salt. In fact, the evangelical page tells us that, as Christ’s disciples, we are also “the salt of the earth” (v. 13). Salt is an element that, while it gives flavor, preserves food from alteration and corruption — there were no fridges in Jesus’ time! Therefore, the mission of Christians in society is to give “flavor” to life with the faith and love that Christ has given us, and at the same time to keep away the polluting germs of egoism, of envy, of malicious gossip, and so on. These germs ruin the fabric of our communities, which instead should shine as places of hospitality, of solidarity and of reconciliation. To fulfil this mission, it is necessary first of all that we ourselves are liberated from the corrupting degeneration of worldly influences, which are contrary to Christ and the Gospel; and this purification never ends, it goes on every day!
Each one of us is called to be light and salt in the environment of our daily life, persevering in the task of regenerating the human reality in the spirit of the Gospel and in the perspective of the Kingdom of God. May the protection of Mary Most Holy, first disciple of Jesus and model, be of help to believers who live every day their vocation and mission in history. May our Mother help us to let ourselves always be purified and illumined by the Lord, to become in turn “salt of the earth” and “light of the world.”
[Original text: Italian]
[Translation by Virginia M. Forrester]
After the Angelus
Dear Brothers and Sister,
Today, Pro-Life Day is being celebrated in Italy, on the theme “Pro-Life Women and Men in the Wake of Saint Teresa of Calcutta.” I unite myself to the Italian Bishops in hoping for a courageous education action in favor of human life. Every life is sacred! We carry forward the culture of life as the answer to the logic of rejection and demographic decline; we are close and together we pray for the children who are in danger of the interruption of pregnancy, as well as for persons who are at the end of life — every life is sacred! — so that no one is left alone and that love may defend the meaning of life. We recall Mother Teresa’s words: “Life is beauty, admire it; life is life, defend it!” be it with the unborn child, be it with the person who is close to dying: every life is sacred!
I greet all those who work for life, the docents of the Roman Universities and those that collaborate in the formation of the new generations, so that they are able to build a welcoming society, fitting for every person.
I greet all the pilgrims, the families, the parish groups and the Associations from different parts of the world. In particular, I greet the faithful of Vienna, Granada, Melilla, Acquaviva delle Fonti and Bari, as well as the students of Penafiel (Portugal) and Badajoz (Spain).
I wish you all a good Sunday. Please, do not forget to pray for me. Have a good lunch and see you soon!
[Original text: Italian]
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