“Why are we celebrating? Because with the Ascension, something new and beautiful happened: Jesus brought our humanity into heaven … that is, in God,” he said.
Quoting the fourth-century bishop St. Gregory of Nyssa, he said: “‘What splendid news! He who became man for us … to make us his brothers, presents himself as man before the Father to bear with himself all those who are joined with him.’”
Pope Francis added: “What does Jesus do in heaven? He is there for us before the Father, continually showing our humanity to him, showing his wounds. I like to think that Jesus, before the Father, prays like this, showing him his wounds. … He shows him the price of redemption and the Father is moved. This is something I like to think about.”
At the end of his Regina Caeli address, Pope Francis marked World Communications Day by thanking journalists and encouraging them to always work in “the service of truth and the common good.”
Pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square from Mali, Argentina, Malta, and many other countries received Laudato si’ booklets from the Vatican, which were printed in collaboration with the Stockholm Environmental Institute.
A marching band from Puerto Rico played music in St. Peter’s Square at the end of the audience and a large group of young people wearing red baseball caps from the Archdiocese of Genoa cheered loudly as the pope mentioned their visit to the Vatican.
“I wish you all a good Sunday. Please don’t forget to pray for me. Please do not forget,” Pope Francis said.
Courtney Mares is a Rome Correspondent for Catholic News Agency. A graduate of Harvard University, she has reported from news bureaus on three continents and was awarded the Gardner Fellowship for her work with North Korean refugees.