Vatican City, Mar 21, 2021 / 07:00 am
Pope Francis said Sunday it is our Christian duty to help people know Jesus, which we cannot do without giving of our lives in service and love.
“Many people, often without saying so, implicitly would like to ‘see Jesus,’ to meet him, to know him. This is how we understand the great responsibility we Christians and our communities have,” the pope said March 21.
In his weekly Angelus address, he said, “we too must respond with the witness of a life that is given in service, of a life that takes upon itself the style of God -- closeness, compassion, and tenderness -- and gives itself in service.”
Francis gave his Angelus address via livestream from inside his study in the apostolic palace, after Italy increased coronavirus restrictions around the country last week.
He explained that to give one’s life in service means “sowing seeds of love, not with fleeting words but through concrete, simple and courageous examples, not with theoretical condemnations, but with gestures of love.”
Pope Francis reflected on an episode in the day’s Gospel from St. John, when Jesus is close to suffering his passion, and some Greeks, curious about what he has been doing, approach the apostle Philip and ask to see Jesus.
Jesus’ response to this request “makes us think,” the pope said. “He says: ‘The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified... Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.’”
In his answer, “Jesus reveals that for every man and woman who wants to find him, He is the hidden seed ready to die in order to bear much fruit,” Francis stated.