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Thursday, 3 August 2017

The Vatican: At the Angelus a new appeal by the Pope - Against modern slavery

At the Angelus a new appeal by the Pope - Against modern slavery
Dear brothers and sisters, Good Morning! The parable discourse of Jesus which groups seven parables in the 13th chapter of Matthew's Gospel concludes with today's three similar stories: the hidden treasure (v 44), the fine pearl (45-46) and the fishing net (v. 47-48). I will pause on the first two [parables] which highlight the protagonists' decision to sell everything in order to obtain what they found. The first case has to do with a farmer who casually runs into a hidden treasure in the field he is working. As the field is not his property, he must purchase it in order to take possession of the treasure: he therefore decides to risk all his possessions so as not to lose that truly exceptional opportunity. In the second case, we find a merchant of precious pearls; as an expert, he has spotted a pearl of great value. He too decides to wager everything on that pearl, to such an extent, as to sell all his other ones. These similar [stories] highlight two characteristics regarding possession of the Kingdom of God: the search and sacrifice. It is true that the Kingdom of God is offered to all — it is a gift, it is a present, it is a grace — but it is not available on a silver platter: it requires dynamism: it is about searching, trying to walk, working hard. The attitude of searching is the essential condition for finding. The heart must burn with the desire to reach the precious good, that is, the Kingdom of God which is made present in the person of Jesus. He is the hidden treasure; he is the pearl of great value. He is the fundamental discovery who can make a decisive change in our lives, filling it with meaning. Faced with the unexpected search, both the farmer and the merchant realize that they are before a unique opportunity which should not be missed, hence, they sell all they own. The evaluation of the inestimable value of the treasure brings to a decision that also implies sacrifice, detachment and surrender. When the treasure and the pearl are discovered. that is, when we have found the Lord, it is necessary not to let this discovery become sterile, but rather to sacrifice every other thing to it. It is not a question of disliking everything else but to place it subordinately to Jesus, putting him in first place; Grace in first place. The disciple of Christ is not someone who has deprived himself of something that is essential; he is someone who has found much more: he has found the complete joy that only the Lord can give. It is the evangelical joy of the sick who have healed; of the pardoned sinners, of the thief for whom the doors of heaven open. The joy of the Gospel fills the heart and the entire life of those who encounter Jesus. Those who allow themselves to be saved by Him are freed from sin, sadness, inner emptiness and isolation. With Jesus Christ, joy is always born and reborn (cf. Apo. Exhort Evangelii gaudium , 1). Today we are called to contemplate the joy of the farmer and the merchant in the parables. It is the joy of each of us when we discover the closeness and the comforting presence of Jesus in our lives. A presence which transforms the heart and opens us to the needs and the welcome of our brothers, especially the weaker ones. Let us pray for the intercession of the Virgin Mary so that each of us can know how to bear witness, in daily words and gestures to the joy of having found the treasure of the Kingdom of God, that is, the love that the Father has given us through Jesus. After the Angelus, Dear brothers and sisters, today is World Day against the trafficking of persons, promoted by the United Nations. Each year thousands of men, women and children are innocent victims of work and sexual exploitation and of organ trafficking and it seems that we have become so accustomed to this, as to consider it a normal thing. This is ugly, it is cruel, it is criminal! I wish to call on the commitment of all so that this perverse plague, a form of modern slavery, may be adequately contrasted. Let us pray together to the Virgin Mary so that she may support the victims of trafficking. Let us pray together to Our Lady: Hail Mary.... I now extend a greeting to all the pilgrims from Italy and from various countries, in particular the Murialdine Sisters of Saint Joseph, the Novices of Mary Help of Christians, altar servers from various Italian parishes and the Italian Hockey Club Femenino from Buenos Aires. I wish you all a Happy Sundayand please do not forget to pray for me. Have a good Lunch and Arrivederci!...
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Pope Francis to German soccer team: 'Be athletes for peace'
(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis met briefly with the managers and players of the German "Borussia Mönchengladbach" soccer team on Wednesday, inviting them to be "athletes for peace". The Holy Father met with them ahead of his weekly General Audience . He thanked the team for the "friendly relations" built up through the years between the team and the Vatican Employees' Athletic Association. The teams sometimes face off on the field in Rome and in Mönchengladbach. The Pope said the club "distinguishes itself by being a team 'at the human level', in a manner of speaking, and a team which promotes the family." Pope Francis said he enjoyed seeing "how families live in your Borussia Park and how many athletic and educative initiatives are held to promote young people, in particular the less fortunate," he said. Finally, the Pope invited those sportsmen present to "be athletes for good and for peace". "I entrust you, your families, and all your loved ones to the Lord. May He ever accompany you with His blessing." (from Vatican Radio)...
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7th Asian Youth Day inaugurated with Mass in Yogyakarta ‎
(Vatican Radio)  The 7th Asian Youth Day (AYD7) kicked off with a colourful concelebrated Mass Wednesday evening ‎in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, in a colourful and festive show of unity around Christ and his Gospel ‎amidst the continent's diverse cultures and peoples. After four days of the preliminary 'Days in the Dioceses' (DID) live-in programme in 11 Indonesian ‎dioceses, July 30- August 2, the over 2000 young Catholics from 21 countries converged in Yogyakarta , the cultural ‎and intellectual heartland of Indonesia.  The 7th Asian Youth Day on the theme " Joyful Asian Youth! ‎Living the Gospel in Multicultural Asia ," will conclude on Aug. 6. ‎ Youth participants had begun pouring in at Yogyakarta's government facility, Jogja Expo Centre (JEC), ‎since early morning, August 2.  After lunch the various national contingents began celebrating with ‎songs and performances and shared their DID experiences of living with local families in dioceses, in ‎preparation for the Eucharistic celebration. The inaugural AYD7 Mass , that was streamed live by organizers, was presided over by Bangladeshi ‎ Cardinal Patrick D'Rozario of Dhaka, chairman of the Office of Laity and Family of the Federation of ‎Asian Bishops' Conferences (FABC), under which comes the Youth Desk that organizes the AYD in ‎collaboration with the country's bishops' conference body and its youth commission.  Joining Card. ‎D'Rozario at the altar were 52 bishops, including 6 cardinals and 158 priests .  Among the concelebrants ‎were AYD host Archbishop Robertus Rubiyatmoko of Semarang, Indonesian bishops' president, ‎Archbishop Ignatius Suharyo of Jakarta and President of Indonesian bishops' Youth Commission, ‎Bishop Pius Riana Prapdi of Ketapang. ‎ Card. D'Rozario began his homily singing a few lines from the hymn, "Rejoice in the Lord always…." ‎setting the mood of his reflection on the theme of the AYD7– "Joyful Asian Youth! Living the Gospel ‎in Multicultural Asia."  The young people, many in traditional dress and country t-shirts and holding their ‎country flags, joined in with rhythmic clapping accompanied by the piano.  The cardinal explained that ‎the reason for their joy was that Jesus loves them, despite their unworthiness and sinfulness .   He said ‎when they feel sad or without joy, it is then that Jesus loves them most.  Jesus loves them by calling ‎them, choosing them and sending them out to mission, to proclaim His love,  mercy, compassion and ‎healing to others . Card. D'Rozario compared the AYD gathering to the Pentecost where people of diverse cultures, ‎languages, ethnic groups and nations of Asia were one in the Holy Spirit who manifests Himself in a ‎variety of gifts.   The Holy Spirit was inviting them all to celebrate  their oneness of faith, life and ‎mission at the WYD.  ‎ After dinner, the AYD7 was officially launched with a variety programme in which the participating countries showcased thier cultural richness.    (from Vatican Radio)...
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