Developing a theme he introduced Monday in his speech at Sacred Heart parish, the pope reflected on the importance of presenting the faith to others in a loving way, rather than with proselytism.
“From our grandparents we learned that love is never forced; it never deprives others of their interior freedom. That is the way Joachim and Anne loved Mary; and that is how Mary loved Jesus, with a love that never smothered him or held him back, but accompanied him in embracing the mission for which he had come into the world,” Pope Francis said.
“It was in our grandparents’ homes that many of us breathed in the fragrance of the Gospel, the strength of a faith which makes us feel at home. Thanks to them, we discovered that kind of ‘familiar’ faith. Because that is how faith is fundamentally passed on, at home, through affection and encouragement, care and closeness…Let us try to learn this, as individuals and as a Church. May we learn never to pressure the consciences of others, never to restrict the freedom of those around us.”
The Mass marks the second day of Pope Francis’ public activities during his weeklong trip to Canada. Yesterday, July 25, the pope publicly apologized for the Catholic Church’s role in running much of Canada’s government-sponsored residential school system. And speaking to a group of Catholics at Sacred Heart parish in Edmonton later that day, Francis reiterated his “shame” and sorrow at the hurt caused by Catholics during the era of Canada’s residential school system. He praised the parish community as “a house for all, open and inclusive, just as the Church should be.”
Commonwealth Stadium, home to the Edmonton Elks football team, is the largest outdoor arena in Canada. Local authorities estimated a crowd of 50,000 people at the July 26 Mass.
Pope Francis preached on the importance of recognizing the sacrifices that previous generations have made and of “safeguarding the treasure” of the faith that they have passed down.