Category Archives: Pope Francis

Miracle at Cana

I found this in testing interpretation of the Miracle at Cana in the book “The Name of God is Meracy”.

I think of the miracle at the “Wedding at Cana,” the first miracle, which was literally “dragged” from Jesus by his mother. Jesus transforms water into wine, into fine wine, the best wine. He does it using water from the urns that were needed for ritual purification, for the washing away of one’s spiritual impurities. The Lord does not produce the wine out of nothing, he uses the water that “washed away” sins, water that contains impurities. He performs this mire acle with something that to us appears impure. He transforms it, making it clear that “where sin increased, Grace overflowed all the more”
Picture courtesy: http://www.swordofthespirit.net

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What makes News?

​When there are children in so many parts of the world who have nothing to eat, that is not news, it seems just normal. When some homeless people freeze to death or starve on the street doesn’t make news. These things  become normal.

On the contrary, when the stock market drops ten points in some cities, it constitutes a tragedy. It becomes a news. 

Someone who dies is not news, but lowering income by ten points is a tragedy. (Pope Francis, The Church of Mercy)

Where are we heading too?

The actions that Speak!!!

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Pope Francis celebrated the Mass of the Lord’s Supper at a temporary welcome and living facility for refugees and asylum- seekers  located on the outskirts of Rome. Its a place of refuge for nearly 900 asylum-seekers from 25 different countries spread across Africa, Asia, and even Europe. In imitation of Christ at the Last Supper Pope washed the leg of a dozen people –eleven guests of the camp and one woman who works at the Centre for Auxilium. Four of the guests taking part in the ritual were Nigerian Catholics, three others – all three women – were Coptic Christians from Eritrea, three others were Muslims from Syria, Pakistan and Mali, and one was an Indian Hindu. (read  more )

I really feel that when guided by the person of Christ, we come to see the value of humanity rather than divisions that exists.

Prayer: Lord give us the openness of mind to accept other as my own brother and sister who is created in your image and likeness. Bless us with the attitudes of Christ.

“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy” (Mt 5:7) (31st World Youth Day Message)

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Dear Young People,
We have come to the last stretch of our pilgrimage to Krakow, the place where we will celebrate the 31st World Youth Day next year in the month of July. We are being guided on this long and challenging path by Jesus’ words taken from the Sermon on the Mount. We began this journey in 2014 by meditating together on the first Beatitude: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 5:3). The theme for 2015 was: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Mt 5:8). During the year ahead, let us allow ourselves to be inspired by the words: “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy” (Mt 5:7).
Continue reading “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy” (Mt 5:7) (31st World Youth Day Message)

The pope to the UN: stop the tragedy in Iraq

On the terrible happenings in Iraq, the Pope has written to the Secretary General of the UN, the bishops conferences of Europe have requested the intervention of the Security Council, and the the council for interreligious dialogue requests all religious leaders, and especially Muslims, to distance themselves from the Caliphate.

The last is quite new: the facts are named, those responsible are named; and leaders are being asked to react publicly. All must condemn unanimously, without ambiguity, these crimes, and especially the use of religion to justify them. Clearly mentioned are the horrifying practice of beheading, crucifixion, exhibition of bodies in public places, and the barbaric imposition of female circumcision.

(From Luigi Accattoli, “L’apello di Bergoglio all’Onu: ‘Fermare la tragedia umanitaria’.” Corriere della Sera, 14 August 2014, p. 14)

Logic of Christ

Jesus Feeding 5000

Contrasting the reactions to the crowd of the disciples and of Christ, Pope Francis said they are “two different reactions which reflect two opposing logics: the disciples are thinking according to the world, for which everyone has to take care of himself; Jesus thinks according to the logic of God, which is that of sharing.”

It is easy to call ourselves Christians, what really makes us so is the logic of Christ. The disciples being with him fail to grasp the same the challenge for us Christians is greater. For, we are living in an age of hermeneutics, where the interpretations of the interpretations are available to follow. Only direct and personal relationship with the center can help us.

Pope Francis reveals top 10 secrets to happiness

Pope Francis

In an interview published in part in the Argentine weekly “Viva” July 27, the pope listed his Top 10 tips for bringing greater joy to one’s life:

1. “Live and let live.” Everyone should be guided by this principle, he said, which has a similar expression in Rome with the saying, “Move forward and let others do the same.”

2. “Be giving of yourself to others.” People need to be open and generous toward others, he said, because “if you withdraw into yourself, you run the risk of becoming egocentric. And stagnant water becomes putrid.”

3. “Proceed calmly” in life. The pope, who used to teach high school literature, used an image from an Argentine novel by Ricardo Guiraldes, in which the protagonist — gaucho Don Segundo Sombra — looks back on how he lived his life.

“He says that in his youth he was a stream full of rocks that he carried with him; as an adult, a rushing river; and in old age, he was still moving, but slowly, like a pool” of water, the pope said. He said he likes this latter image of a pool of water — to have “the ability to move with kindness and humility, a calmness in life.”

4. “A healthy sense of leisure.” The pleasures of art, literature and playing together with children have been lost, he said.

“Consumerism has brought us anxiety” and stress, causing people to lose a “healthy culture of leisure.” Their time is “swallowed up” so people can’t share it with anyone.

Even though many parents work long hours, they must set aside time to play with their children; work schedules make it “complicated, but you must do it,” he said.

Families must also turn off the TV when they sit down to eat because, even though television is useful for keeping up with the news, having it on during mealtime “doesn’t let you communicate” with each other, the pope said.

5. Sundays should be holidays. Workers should have Sundays off because “Sunday is for family,” he said.

6. Find innovative ways to create dignified jobs for young people. “We need to be creative with young people. If they have no opportunities they will get into drugs” and be more vulnerable to suicide, he said.

“It’s not enough to give them food,” he said. “Dignity is given to you when you can bring food home” from one’s own labor.

7. Respect and take care of nature. Environmental degradation “is one of the biggest challenges we have,” he said. “I think a question that we’re not asking ourselves is: ‘Isn’t humanity committing suicide with this indiscriminate and tyrannical use of nature?'”

8.  Stop being negative. “Needing to talk badly about others indicates low self-esteem. That means, ‘I feel so low that instead of picking myself up I have to cut others down,'” the pope said. “Letting go of negative things quickly is healthy.”

9. Don’t proselytize; respect others’ beliefs. “We can inspire others through witness so that one grows together in communicating. But the worst thing of all is religious proselytism, which paralyzes: ‘I am talking with you in order to persuade you,’ No. Each person dialogues, starting with his and her own identity. The church grows by attraction, not proselytizing,” the pope said.

10. Work for peace. “We are living in a time of many wars,” he said, and “the call for peace must be shouted. Peace sometimes gives the impression of being quiet, but it is never quiet, peace is always proactive” and dynamic.

Pope Francis’ Homily at Mass in Caserta

“Giving primacy to God means having the courage to say no to evil, violence, oppression, living [instead] a life of service to others and in favor of the law and the common good.”
Rome, (Zenit.org)

On Saturday evening, Pope Francis celebrated Mass in the square in front of the Royal Palace of Caserta, southern Italy. The Mass, which took place after the Pope met priests from the region, began at 6 p.m. Today is the feast of Saint Anne, the mother of Mary and patron of the city.

Here below is the homily delivered by the Holy Father:

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Jesus addressed his listeners with simple words that everyone could understand. Also this evening, he we have heard that he speaks to us through short parables that refer to the daily life of the people of that time. The parallels of the treasure hidden in the field and the pearl of great price have, as protagonists, a poor peasant and a wealthy merchant. The merchant searched for a thing of value all his life, something that would satisfy his thirst for beauty, travelling the world, without giving up, in the hope of finding what he is looking for. The other, the peasant, has never moved away from his field and is working all time, with the usual daily routine. Yet for both the final outcome is the same: the discovery of something valuable, a treasure for one, and a pearl of great price for the other. Both are also united by a common sentiment: the surprise and joy of having found the fulfillment of every desire. In the end, both of them don’t hesitate to sell everything to buy the treasure they found. Through these two parables, Jesus teaches what the kingdom of heaven is, how to find it, what to do to possess it.

What is the kingdom of heaven? Jesus doesn’t bother to explain it. He states from the beginning of his Gospel: “The kingdom of heaven is at hand”. And also today He is near and among us … He is near. However, he never makes one see it straight away, but always as a consequence, narrating the actions of a master, of a king, of ten virgins … He prefers to let us understand, in parables and similes, and above all by revealing their effects: the kingdom of heaven is capable of changing the world, like yeast hidden in the dough. It is small and humble, like a mustard seed, but becomes as large as a tree. The two parables on which we want to reflect make us understand that the kingdom of God makes itself present in the very person of Jesus. He is the hidden treasure and the pearl of great price. It encompasses the joy of the peasant and the merchant: they found it! It is the joy of all of us when we discover the closeness and the presence of Jesus in our lives – a presence that transforms our lives and makes us sensitive to the needs of our brothers; a presence that invites us to accept each other’s presence, including those who are foreigners and immigrants. He is a welcoming presence, a joyful presence, a fruitful presence, and so it becomes in us.

And then one might ask: How is the kingdom of God found? Each of us has a particular path. For some, the encounter with Jesus is awaited, desired, long sought after, as is shown in the parable of the merchant. For others it happens suddenly, almost by accident, as in the parable of the peasant. This reminds us that God lets Himself be found, because it is He who first wants to meet us, and first tries to meet us. He came to be “God with us.” And Jesus is with us, He is here today. “When you come together in my name, I am with you.” The Lord is here, with us, among us. It is He who seeks us and makes Himself discoverable, even for those who do not seek him. Sometimes He lets Himself be found in unusual places and unexpected times. When Jesus is discovered, one is fascinated, conquered, and it is a joy to leave our usual way of life, sometimes dry and apathetic, to embrace the Gospel, to be guided by the new logic of love and of humble and disinterested service. The Word of Jesus, the Gospel. Let me ask you a question, but I do not want you to raise your hands [laughs]: How many of you each day read a passage from the Gospel? But how many of you, perhaps, hasten to finish work to not miss a soap opera … Have the Gospel in your hands. Have the Gospel on the table. Have the Gospel in your bag. Have the Gospel in your pocket and open it to read the Word of Jesus, so the Kingdom of God comes. Contact with the Word of Jesus brings us closer to the Kingdom of God. Think about it: a small Gospel always at hand, open it to a random page, and read what Jesus says, and Jesus is there.

How is the kingdom of God possessed? On this point, Jesus is very clear: enthusiasm, the joy of discovery, is not enough. The precious pearl of the kingdom should precede every other earthly good; we must put God first in our lives, prefer Him to everything. Giving primacy to God means having the courage to say no to evil, violence, oppression, living instead a life of service to others and in favor of the law and the common good. When a person finds God, the true treasure, they leave a selfish lifestyle and look to share with others the love that comes from God. Whoever becomes a friend of God loves his brothers, is committed to safeguarding their lives and their health, also respecting the environment and nature. I know that you suffer for these things. Today, when I arrived, one of you has approached me and said: Father, give us hope. But I cannot give you hope, I can tell you that where Jesus is, there is hope; where there is Jesus, each person loves all other persons like brothers, committed to safeguarding their lives and their health and also respecting the environment and nature. This is the hope which never disappoints, the one that Jesus gives! This is particularly important in your beautiful land that needs to be protected and preserved. It requires you to have the courage to say no to any form of corruption and lawlessness, it requires everyone to be servants of the truth and to assume every situation in the style of the living Gospel, which is manifested in the gift of self and attention to the poor and the excluded.

On the feast of St. Anne,  I like to refer to her as the grandmother of Jesus, and today is a good day to celebrate grandmothers. When I was doing the incense, I saw a beautiful thing: the statue of St. Anne is crowned, her daughter, Mary, is crowned. And this is nice. St. Anne is the woman who prepared her daughter to become queen, to become the queen of the heavens and the earth. She did a nice job this woman, the patron saint of Caserta. Gathered here are the various components of the diocesan community, with the bishop and the presence of civil authorities and the representatives of various social entities. I would encourage everyone to live the feast of the patron free of every preconception, expressing only the faith of a people that recognizes God’s family and which strengthens the bonds of brotherhood and solidarity. St. Anne may have heard her daughter Mary proclaim the words of the Magnificat: “He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; he has filled the hungry with good things (Lk 1, 51-53)”. She will help you to search for the unique treasure, Jesus, and teach you to discover the way of God; He turned the judgments of the world upside down, comes to the rescue of the poor and the little, and fills the humble with good things, those who entrust their existence with Him. Have hope, the hope that never disappoints! And I would like to repeat: Don’t let yourselves be robbed of hope!

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At the end of Mass, the Pope was taken to a nearby helipad of the Italian air force. After saying goodbye to the authorities who welcomed him on arrival, he was taken by helicopter back to Rome.