.- Pope Francis focused his daily homily for the Feast of the Sacred Heart on the nature of love between God and his people.
“There are two aspects to this love. First, love is more about giving than receiving. Second, love is more about actions than words,” the Pope observed in his June 27 daily Mass in the Vatican’s Saint Martha guesthouse.
The Roman Pontiff described how this feast celebrates the love God has for us in his son, Jesus Christ.
“When we say it’s more about giving than receiving, it’s because love communicates, it always communicates. And it’s received by the one who is loved. And when we say that it’s more about actions than words, it’s because love always generates life and makes us grow.”
Pope Francis then said the type of relationship God wants with us is like that between a father and his child. In order to better understand God's love we must become like small children so that he can caress us and tell us that he is by our side.
“This is the tenderness of our Lord and of His love; this is what He tells us and this gives us the strength to be tender,” he observed. “If we feel we’re strong, we’ll never experience those caresses from the Lord, those caresses from Him that are so wonderful.”
“‘Don’t be afraid, for I am with you and I’ll hold your hand’…These are all words spoken by the Lord that help us to understand that mysterious love He has for us,” the pontiff continued.
“And when Jesus speaks about Himself, he says: ‘I am meek and humble of heart.’ Even He, the Son of God, lowers himself to receive his Father’s love.”
The Pope also noted that God is always before us waiting for us and interceding so that we obtain the grace to enter into the mystery of his love.
“When we arrive, He’s there. When we look for Him, He has already been looking for us. He is always in front of us, waiting to receive us in His heart, in His love,” the pontiff noted.
“In order to communicate (love), He needs us to be like small children, to lower ourselves. And at the same time, He needs our astonishment when we look for Him and find Him there, waiting for us.”
Following his daily Mass, Pope Francis was slated to travel at 3:30 p.m. to visit Rome’s Agostino Gemelli hospital, attached to the University of the Sacred Heart, in celebration of the 50th anniversary of its foundation.
Named after the Franciscan friar who established it, the hospital serves as a medical school for the Milan-based university, and is the official hospital of the Holy Father, who has a special suite of rooms reserved there.
Pope Francis was to be the fifth pope to visit the hospital since its founding. However, he was forced to cancel the trip at the last minute due to a "sudden indisposition."