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Tuesday, 20 June 2017

The Vatican: Pope celebrates Mass for Solemnity of Corpus Christi

Pope celebrates Mass for Solemnity of Corpus Christi
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Sunday celebrated Mass at the Roman Basilica of St John Lateran which was to be followed by a procession to the Basilica of St Mary Major to mark the Solemnity of Corpus Christi. In his homily for the feast of Corpus Christi, Pope Francis chose to reflect on one word, "Memory". The Pope said that "remembering all that the Lord has done for us is the foundation of our own personal history of salvation."  Memory, the Holy Father went on to say is important, "because it allows us to dwell in love, to be mind-ful, "never forgetting who it is who loves us and whom we are called to love in return."  This Solemnity, Pope Francis underlined, reminds us that in our fragmented lives, the Lord comes to meet us with a loving "fragility", which is the Eucharist.   Below find the English language translation of the Pope's Homily On this Solemnity of Corpus Christi, the idea of memory comes up again and again.  Moses says to the people: "You shall remember all the way which the Lord your God has led you….  Lest… you forget the Lord your God, who fed you in the wilderness with manna" (Dt 8:2, 14, 16).  Jesus will tell us: "Do this in memory of me" (1 Cor 11:24).  The "living bread, come down from heaven" (Jn 6:51) is the sacrament of memory, reminding us, in a real and tangible way, of the story of God's love for us.  Today, to each of us, the word of God says, Remember!  Remembrance of the Lord's deeds guided and strengthened his people's journey through the desert; remembering all that the Lord has done for us is the foundation of our own personal history of salvation.  Remembrance is essential for faith, as water is for a plant.  A plant without water cannot stay alive and bear fruit.  Nor can faith, unless it drinks deeply of the memory of all that the Lord has done for us.  Remember.  Memory is important, because it allows us to dwell in love, to be mind-ful, never forgetting who it is who loves us and whom we are called to love in return.  Yet nowadays, this singular ability that the Lord has given us is considerably weakened.  Amid so much frantic activity, many people and events seem to pass in a whirl.  We quickly turn the page, looking for novelty while unable to retain memories.  Leaving our memories behind and living only for the moment, we risk remaining ever on the surface of things, constantly in flux, without going deeper, without the broader vision that reminds us who we are and where we are going.  In this way, our life grows fragmented, and dulled within.  Yet today's Solemnity reminds us that in our fragmented lives, the Lord comes to meet us with a loving "fragility", which is the Eucharist.  In the Bread of Life, the Lord comes to us, making himself a humble meal that lovingly heals our memory, wounded by life's frantic pace of life.  The Eucharist is the memorial of God's love.  There, "[Christ's] sufferings are remembered" (II Vespers, antiphon for the Magnificat) and we recall God's love for us, which gives us strength and support on our journey.  This is why the Eucharistic commemoration does us so much good: it is not an abstract, cold and superficial memory, but a living remembrance that comforts us with God's love.  The Eucharist is flavoured with Jesus' words and deeds, the taste of his Passion, the fragrance of his Spirit.  When we receive it, our hearts are overcome with the certainty of Jesus' love.  In saying this, I think in particular of you boys and girls, who recently received First Holy Communion, and are here today in great numbers.  The Eucharist gives us a grateful memory, because it makes us see that we are the Father's children, whom he loves and nourishes.  It gives us a free memory, because Jesus' love and forgiveness heal the wounds of the past, soothe our remembrance of wrongs experienced and inflicted.  It gives us a patient memory, because amid all our troubles we know that the Spirit of Jesus remains in us.  The Eucharist encourages us: even on the roughest road, we are not alone; the Lord does not forget us and whenever we turn to him, he restores us with his love. The Eucharist also reminds us that we are not isolated individuals, but one body.  As the people in the desert gathered the manna that fell from heaven and shared it in their families (cf. Ex 16), so Jesus, the Bread come down from Heaven, calls us together to receive him and to share him with one another.  The Eucharist is not a sacrament "for me"; it is the sacrament of the many, who form one body.  Saint Paul reminded us of this: "Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread" (1 Cor 10:17).  The Eucharist is the sacrament of unity.  Whoever receives it cannot fail to be a builder of unity, because building unity has become part of his or her "spiritual DNA".  May this Bread of unity heal our ambition to lord it over others, to greedily hoard things for ourselves, to foment discord and criticism.  May it awaken in us the joy of living in love, without rivalry, jealousy or mean-spirited gossip. Now, in experiencing this Eucharist, let us adore and thank the Lord for this greatest of gifts: the living memorial of his love, that makes us one body and leads us to unity.     (from Vatican Radio)...
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Pope Francis opens annual Diocese of Rome pastoral conference
(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis made his second visit to Rome's Cathedral, St. John Lateran, in as many days on Monday evening to open the Diocese of Rome's annual pastoral conference. Ahead of his visit, the Holy Father met with a group of refugees who have been hosted by some of the thirty-eight Roman parishes and religious communities who responded to his 2015 appeal that parishes to do their part by hosting those persons fleeing war and poverty. Listen to Linda Bordoni's report: Pope Francis opened Rome's annual diocesan meeting on Monday evening with a reflection on how to accompany parents in educating their adolescent children. Offering several "assumptions" for this aspect of pastoral care, the Bishop of Rome invited the city's pastors to think in the Roman dialect, that is, with the faces of their flocks fixed in their minds. "Family life and the education of adolescents in a big metropolis like this requires particular attention," he said. "The complexity of the capital does not admit of reductive syntheses, but stimulates us to think in the form of a polyhedron, in which every neighborhood finds its own echo in the diocese". Pope Francis then reflected on the modern experience of being "uprooted". He said "an uprooted society or uprooted family is a family without a history, memory, or roots… For this reason one of the first things we must think about is how to provide roots and relationships and how to promote a vital network that allows them to feel at home." The Pope said the adolescent experience is one of tension and transition between childhood and adulthood. He called this a precious and difficult time in which the whole family is called to grow. And he invited the Roman pastors not to treat adolescence as a "pathology to be medicated"; rather, he called it "a normal part of growth," since "where there is life there is movement and change". The Holy Father said this offered parents a unique opportunity to stimulate young people by involving them in projects that challenge them to reach their full potential. In conclusion, Pope Francis said one of the greatest threats to the education of teenagers is the idea of "eternal youth". He said when adults want to stay young and young people want to be adults there is a hidden risk of leaving teenagers out of their own growth processes, because parents have taken their place. This, the Pope said, deprives teenagers of an experience of confrontation necessary for growth into adulthood. (from Vatican Radio)...
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Pope prays at tomb of Don Milani in Italian town of Barbiana
(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis on Tuesday visited and prayed at the tomb of Don Lorenzo Milani, an Italian priest and educator from the Diocese of Florence, and spoke to the faithful present for his visit in Barbiana. Calling Don Milani a "priest who was as transparent and hard as a diamond", Pope Francis reflected on his life and legacy as an educator in the northern Italian city of Barbiana from 1954 until 1967. The Pope said he wished to pray at his tomb "in order to pay homage to the memory of a priest who witnessed to how, in the gift of self to Christ, we discover our brothers and sisters in their moment of need, and we serve them". He told the people of Barbiana that they were "witnesses to his passion as an educator and his desire to reawaken the human aspect in persons in order to open them to the divine." The Holy Father said education for Don Milani was the concrete expression of his priesthood. "[He sought] to give back the word to poor people, because without language there is neither dignity nor freedom and justice." Pope Francis went on to thank all educators for their "service towards promoting the growth of new generations, especially those who find themselves in uncomfortable situations." He said Don Milani's educative drive was born of his priesthood, which in turn was born of his faith. "His was a totalizing faith, which allowed him to give himself completely to the Lord". Turning to the priests present, Pope Francis invited them to be "men of faith" and to "love the Church and make her loved by showing her to be a mother for all, especially for the poorest and most fragile". (from Vatican Radio)...
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