reflections, updates and homilies from Deacon Mike Talbot inspired by the following words from my ordination: Receive the Gospel of Christ whose herald you have become. Believe what you read, teach what you believe and practice what you teach...
Here is a ZENIT translation of the address Pope Francis gave today, before and after praying the midday Angelus with those gathered in St. Peter’s Square.
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Before the Angelus:
Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!
Today’s Gospel (Cf. John 3:16-18), feast of the Most Holy Trinity, shows in John’s synthetic language the mystery of God’s love for the world, His creation. In the brief dialogue with Nicodemus, Jesus presents himself as He who brings to fulfillment the Father’s plan of salvation for the world. He affirms: “God so loved the world that He gave His only Son” (v. 16). These words indicate that the action of the three Divine Persons — Father, Son and Holy Spirit — is altogether a single design of love that saves humanity and the world; it is a design of salvation for us.
God created the world good, beautiful but, after sin, the world is marked by evil and corruption. We men and women are all sinners; therefore, God could intervene to judge the world, to destroy evil and punish sinners. Instead, He loves the world, its sins notwithstanding. God loves each one of us even when we err and distance ourselves from Him. God the Father so loves the world that, to save it, gave what is most precious to Him: His Only-Begotten Son, who gives his life for men, rises, returns to the Father, and together with Him sends the Holy Spirit. The Trinity, therefore, is Love, altogether at the service of the world, which it wishes to save and recreate. Today, thinking of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, we think of God’s love! And it would be good if we felt ourselves loved. “God loves me”: this is today’s sentiment.
When Jesus affirms that the Father has given His Only-Begotten Son, we think spontaneously of Abraham and his offering of his son Isaac, of which the Book of Genesis speaks (Cf. 22:1-14): behold the “measure without measure” of God’s love. And we also think of how God reveals Himself to Moses: full of tenderness, merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and rich in steadfast love and faithfulness (Cf. Exodus 34:6). The encounter with this God encouraged Moses, who, as the Book of Exodus recounts, was not afraid to interpose himself between the people and the Lord, saying to Him: Yes, “it is a stiff-necked people; and pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us for thy inheritance” (v. 9). And God did this by sending his Son. We are sons in the Son with the strength of the Holy Spirit! We are God’s inheritance!
Dear brothers and sisters, today’s feast invites us to let ourselves be fascinated again by God’s beauty; inexhaustible beauty, goodness, and truth. But also beauty, goodness, and truth that is humble, close, who made Himself flesh to enter in our life, in our history, in my history, in the history of each one of us, so that every man and woman can encounter Him and have eternal life. And this is faith: to receive God-Love, to receive this God-Love who gives Himself in Christ, who makes us move in the Holy Spirit; to let ourselves be encountered by Him and to trust in Him. This is the Christian life. To love, encounter God, seek God, but He seeks us first, He meets us first.
May the Virgin Mary, dwelling of the Trinity, help us to receive God’s love with an open heart, which fills us with joy and gives meaning to our journey in this world, directing it always to the end, which is Heaven.
[Original text: Italian] [ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]
After the Angelus
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I greet you all, Romans and pilgrims: the individual faithful, the families, and the Religious Communities. Your presence in the Square is a sign that in Italy the acute phase of the epidemic has been overcome, even if the necessity remains — but be careful, don’t sing victory too soon, don’t sing victory! — to follow carefully the current regulations, because they are rules that help us to avoid the virus going on. Thank God we are coming out of the strongest center, but always with the prescriptions the Authorities give us. However, unfortunately, in other countries — I’m thinking of some of them — the virus is still causing so many victims. Last Friday, one died every minute in one country! Terrible. I wish to express my closeness to those populations, to the sick and to their family members, and to all those that take care of them. Let us get close to them with our prayer.
The month of June is dedicated particularly to the Heart of Christ, a devotion that brings together the great spiritual masters and the simple people of the People of God. In fact, Jesus’ human and divine Heart is the fount from which we can always draw God’s mercy, forgiveness, and tenderness. We can do so by pausing on a passage of the Gospel, feeling that at the center of every gesture, of every word of Jesus is love, love is at the center, the love of the Father who sent His Son, love of the Holy Spirit who is within us. And we can do so by adoring the Eucharist, where this love is present in the Sacrament. Then our heart will also become, little by little, more patient, more generous and more merciful, in imitation of Jesus’ Heart. There is an ancient prayer — I learned it from my grandmother — that said thus: “Jesus, make my heart like unto Thine.” It’s a beautiful prayer “Make my heart like unto Thine,” beautiful little prayer to pray in this month. Shall we say it together now? “Jesus, may my heart be like Thine.” Once again, “Jesus, may my heart be like Thine.”
I wish you all a happy Sunday. I was about to say “a happy and hot Sunday,” a good Sunday. Please, don’t forget to pray for me. Enjoy your lunch and goodbye.