Saint Peter's Square
Sunday, 7 June 2020
Dear Brothers and Sisters, Good morning!
Today’s Gospel (cf. Jn 3:16-18), on the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity, demonstrates — with the Apostle John’s succinct language — the mystery of God’s love for the world, his creation. In the brief dialogue with Nicodemus, Jesus presents himself as the One who brings to fulfilment the Father’s plan of salvation for the world. He affirms: “For God so loved the world that He gave his only Son” (v. 16).
These words are to indicate that the action of the three divine Persons — Father, Son and Holy Spirit — is all a single plan of love that saves humanity and the world; it is a plan of salvation for us. The world God created was good, beautiful, but after sin, the world is marked by evil and corruption. We men and women are sinners, all of us; hence, God could intervene to judge the world, to destroy evil and castigate sinners. Instead, He loves the world, despite its sins; God loves each one of us even when we make mistakes and distance ourselves from him. God the Father loves the world so much that, in order to save it, He gives what is most precious to Him: his only-begotten Son, who gives his life for humanity, rises again, returns to the Father and together with him sends the Holy Spirit. The Trinity is therefore Love, wholly at the service of the world, which He wishes to save and re-create. And today, thinking of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we think of God’s love! And it would be beautiful if we felt that we were loved: “God loves me!”. This is today’s sentiment.
When Jesus affirms that the Father has given his only-begotten Son, we spontaneously think of Abraham and his offering of his son Isaac, of whom the Book of Genesis speaks (cf. 22:1-14): this is the “immeasurable measure” of God's love. And let us also think of how God reveals himself to Moses: full of tenderness, merciful, gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness (cf. Ex 34:6). The encounter with this God encouraged Moses, who, as the Book of Exodus tells us, was not afraid to stand between the people and the Lord, saying to Him: although it is a stiff-necked people, pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us for thy inheritance (cf. 34:9). And this is what God did, by sending his Son. We are children in the Son with the strength of the Holy Spirit! We are God’s legacy!
Dear brothers and sisters, today’s Feast Day invites us to let ourselves once again be fascinated by the beauty of God; beauty, goodness and inexhaustible truth. But also beauty, goodness, and humble and close truth, which became flesh in order to enter our life, our history, my history, the history of each one of us, so that every man and woman may encounter it and have eternal life. And this is faith: to welcome God-Love; to welcome this God-Love who gives himself in Christ, who moves us in the Holy Spirit; to let ourselves be encountered by him and to trust in him. This is Christian life. To love, to encounter God, to seek God; and He seeks us first; He encounters us first.
May the Virgin Mary, dwelling-place of the Trinity, help us to welcome with an open heart the love of God, which fills us with joy and gives meaning to our journey in this world, always guiding us towards our destination, which is Heaven.
After the Angelus, the Holy Father continued:
Dear brothers and sisters, I greet you all, people of Rome and pilgrims: individual faithful, families, and religious communities. And also your presence in the square is a sign that in Italy the acute phase of the epidemic has passed, but be careful, do not sing ‘Victory!’ yet, do not celebrate victory too soon! It remains necessary to carefully follow the rules in force, because they are rules that help us prevent the virus from advancing. Thanks be to God we are coming out of it stronger, but always with the prescriptions that the authorities give us. But unfortunately in other countries — I am thinking of several — the virus continues to claim many victims. Last Friday, in one country, one person died every minute! Terrible. I wish to express my closeness to those populations, to the sick and their families, and to all those who are caring for them. Let us be close to them with our prayer.
The month of June is dedicated in a special way to the Heart of Christ, a devotion that unites the great spiritual teachers and the simple folk among the People of God. Indeed, the human and divine Heart of Jesus is the wellspring from which we can always draw upon God’s mercy, forgiveness and tenderness. We can do so by focusing on a passage of the Gospel, feeling that at the centre of every gesture, of every word of Jesus, at the centre there is love, the love of the Father who sent his Son, the love of the Holy Spirit that is within us. And we can do so by adoring the Eucharist, where this love is present in the Sacrament. Then our heart too, little by little, will become more patient, more generous, more merciful, in imitation of the Heart of Jesus. There is an ancient prayer — I learned it from my grandmother — which said: “Jesus, make my heart resemble yours”. It is a beautiful prayer. “Make my heart similar to yours”. A beautiful and short prayer, to pray during this month. Shall we say it together now? “Jesus, let my heart resemble yours”. Once more: “Jesus, let my heart resemble yours”.I wish everyone a happy Sunday. I was about to say ‘a happy and hot Sunday’. A happy Sunday. Please, do not forget to pray for me. Enjoy your lunch. Arrivederci.
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