Vatican City ( AsiaNews) - " Today's society has a great need for the witness of an lifestyle which displays the novelty of that commandment to love one another, given to us by Christ: brothers who love each other despite the differences in character, provenance or age. .. This witness gives rise to the desire to be involved in the great parable of communion that is the Church". These were the words of Pope Francis today as he met with the bishops friends of the Focolare Movement, meeting this week in Castel Gandolfo for their 37th international meeting on the theme: "Reciprocity of love between the disciples of Christ."
The Pope reminded the Bishops that they are "called to bring to these meetings the wide-ranging breath of the Church" and to ensure that "all efforts are for the benefit of the whole Church".
Referring to the theme of the meeting, he noted that when a person realizes that reciprocal love between Christians is possible and is capable of transforming inter-personal relationships, he or she feels drawn to discover or to rediscover Christ, to be open to an encounter with Him, is spurred to go beyond his o herself to reach out to others and spread the hope that he or she has received as a gift". Inspired by Blessed John Paul II's Apostolic Letter Novo millennio ineunte, the Pope recalled that the task of "making the Church the home and school of communion" is really critical to the effectiveness of any commitment to evangelization: it reveals "the Father's deep desire" that "all his children live as brothers and sisters", "the will of the heart of Christ", that "all may be one" and "the dynamism of the Holy Spirit, its free and liberating power".
"Nurturing the spirituality of communion also helps to make us more in pursuing ecumenical and interreligious dialogue". In this perspective, the hope of Francis was that the conference of Castel Gandolfo "be a propitious occasion to grow in the spirit of collegiality and - he concluded - to derive from reciprocal love cause for encouragement and renewed hope".
At the Angelus Pope Francis expresses unity with the Italian bishops. "Every life is sacred." "Both the child about to be born and the person who is going to die." Christians must "be the light and salt in your daily life environment". "Keep away from the pollutants germs of selfishness, envy, slander". Our communities must shine "as places of welcome, solidarity and reconciliation".
On the day commemorating Jesus' Baptism, Benedict XVI called on 60,000 people in St Peter's Square for the Angelus to "testify to it with worthy life conduct."
At the Angelus, Pope Francis emphasizes the way Jesus lived: "preaching and working for what really matters and is essential, that is, love." "Jesus wants to make it clear that without love of God and neighbor there is no true fidelity." "We need to receive in us the ability to love that comes from God Himself." In Brazil yesterday Murialdo priest Giovanni Schiavo, was beatified.
"We Christians go to Mass on Sundays to meet the Risen Lord, or better to let ourselves be met by Him, listen to His word, feed ourselves at His table, and thus become Church, or His mystical living Body in the world today". "We need to participate in Sunday Mass because only with the grace of Jesus, with His living presence in us and among us, we can be His credible witnesses".
During the Angelus, Pope Francis called on Christians to hold Jesus as "the centre, the whole of life." Do not have a "duplicitous heart" with a "foot in two shoes". May the " holy faithful people of God” help “us to be good priests." He dedicated a Hail Mary to Venezuela, and expressed his “closeness to the families who have lost children in the streets”.