.- During his Sunday Angelus remarks reflecting on divine love, Pope Francis invited all the Romans and pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square to join in a Eucharistic procession later this week.
“Next Thursday, according to Roman tradition, we will celebrate holy Mass at St. John Lateran and then we will make a procession with the Blessed Sacrament. I invite Romans and pilgrims to participate in order to express our desire to be a people drawn together in the unity of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” he said on June 15 to the crowds filling St. Peter’s Square.
“We look forward to seeing you all next Thursday at 7 p.m., for the Mass and the procession on Corpus Christi,” he added, referring to the feast day celebrating the Eucharist.
Pope Francis linked the upcoming feast with the one celebrated this Sunday, the feast of the Holy Trinity.
“Every Sunday we go to Mass, we celebrate the Eucharist together and the Eucharist is like the ‘burning bush’ in which the Trinity humbly dwells and communicates itself: this is why the Church has placed the feast of the Body of the Lord after that of the Trinity.”
The Holy Father also reflected on the Divine love of the Trinity, “origin and goal of the universe and of every creature.”
He explained that the Trinity acts as a model of the Church where Christians are called to love with the perfect, sacrificial love of Jesus.
Moreover, this love is “distinctive of Christianity, as Jesus has told us: ‘By this they will know that you are my disciples: if you love one another.’”
Pope Francis then spoke emphatically of the impossibility of hatred for a Christian. “It is a contradiction to think of Christians who hate. It’s a contradiction!”
“And the devil always looks for this: to make us hate, because he always sows the seeds of the discord of hatred.”
Christians, rather, are called to give witness to the message that “God is love, that God is not far away from or insensitive to our human affairs.”
God shows his love in the incarnation of the Son, “this love that is very difficult to understand but that we feel when we come close to Jesus. And he always forgives, he always awaits us, he loves us so much. And the love of Jesus that we feel is the love of God.”
God’s love is also communicated through the Holy Spirit who brings us into “the dynamism of the Trinity, that is a dynamism of love, of communion, of reciprocal service, of sharing.”
“A person who loves others for the very joy of love is a reflection of the Trinity,” the pontiff noted.
“True love is without limit, but knows to limit itself, to go to meet the other, to respect the freedom of the other.”
Pope Francis then led the crowds in the Angelus prayer, followed by a special intention to pray for Iraq which has recently experienced much political unrest and violence.
“I invite all of you to unite yourselves to my prayer for the dear nation of Iraq, above all for the victims and for those who suffer the major part of the consequences of the expanding violence, in particular for the many people, among which there are many Christians, who have had to leave their own homes.”
“I hope, for the whole population, security and peace and a future of reconciliation and justice where all Iraqis, whatever might be there religious affinity, together can build their homeland, making it a model of life together,” he stressed.
The Holy Father also announced that he will visit the city of Tirana in Albania on the 21st of September. “With this short trip I want to confirm the faith of the Church in Albania and witness to my encouragement and love in a country that has suffered for a long time in consequence of the ideologies of the past.”
Pope Francis concluded his Angelus by greeting the various pilgrim groups, wishing everyone a “good Sunday and a good lunch,” and asking everyone to pray for him.