18 February 2018

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05/07/2017 VATICAN

Pope: Christ, the Good Shepherd, has become the gate to humanity’s salvation because he has offered his life for his sheep

Before the Regina Caeli, Pope Francis explained the symbols of today's Gospel. Jesus "is a leader whose authority is expressed in the service [. . .] Once can trust such a leader." He is a " a friendly, strong and sweet presence, who leads, protects, consoles, and heals." Too often we leave "spiritual and affective dimension" in the shadow. May Christ sustain "all those who are called by Him, so that they may be ready and generous in following His voice.” Seven martyrs of the Spanish Civil War were beatified yesterday. The pontiff calls on the faithful to pray the rosary in May "for peace, as the Virgin asked in Fatima."

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - "Christ, the Good Shepherd, has become the gate to humanity’s salvation because he has offered his life for his sheep,” said Pope Francis, joining the two images related to Jesus in today’s Gospel, that of the fourth Sunday of Easter (Jn 10: 1-10), traditionally dedicated to "the Good Shepherd," in which Jesus speaks of himself as "shepherd" and as the “gate for the sheep”.

In his reflection before the Regina Caeli with pilgrims in St Peter's Square, the pontiff said, "The flock, all of us, have a sheepfold as home, which serves as refuge, where the sheep live and rest after the efforts of the journey. The sheepfold has a fence and a gate with a gatekeeper. Several people approach the flock: some enter the enclosure through the gate but someone ‘climbs over elsewhere’ (v. 1). The first one is the shepherd, the second is a stranger who does not love the sheep. Jesus identifies himself with the first and shows that he knows the sheep, expressed through his voice, by which he calls them and they recognise and follow him (v. 3). He calls them to lead them out to the grassy pastures where they can find good nourishment.”

The second image with which Jesus appears is that of the "gate for the sheep" (v. 7). In fact, he says, "I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture.” (v. 9) [. . .] that they might have life and have it more abundantly” (v. 10).

"Jesus, a good shepherd and gate for the sheep is a leader whose authority is expressed in service, a leader who gives life in order to lead and does not ask others to sacrifice it. One can trust such a leader, like the sheep who hear the voice of their shepherd, because they know that with him they can go to good and abundant pastures. Only a sign, a call to them, is needed for them to follow, obey, and walk led by the voice of those whom they feel as a friendly, strong and sweet presence, a voice that leads, protects, consoles, and heals. This is how Christ is for us."

The pope also spoke about the "spiritual and affective dimension" that binds us to Christ: a dimension "of the Christian experience that perhaps we leave somewhat in the shadow."

"Sometimes, we rationalise the faith too much and risk losing the perception of the stamp of that voice, that of Jesus the Good Shepherd, who stimulates and fascinates. This is what happened to the two disciples in Emmaus, whose heart was burning whilst the Risen one spoke along the way. This is the wonderful experience of feeling loved by Jesus [Ask yourself: Do I feel loved by Jesus?]. For Him we are never strangers, we are friends and brothers. Yet it is not always easy to distinguish the good shepherd's voice. There is always the danger of the thief, the brigand and the false shepherd. There is always the risk of being distracted by the frustration of so many other voices. Today we are invited not to be distracted of the false wisdom of this world, but to follow Jesus the Risen One as the only sure guide that gives meaning to our lives."

“On this World day of prayer for priestly vocations, we call on the Virgin Mary. May She accompany the ten new priests I just ordained. I asked four new members of the diocese of Rome to come out with me to give the blessing. May Our Lady support with her help all those who are called by Him, so that they may be ready and generous in following His voice. "

After the Marian pascal prayer, Francis mentioned the beatification, yesterday, in Girona (Spain), of Antonio Arribas Hortigüela and six companions, religious with the Congregation of Missionaries of the Sacred Heart, who were persecuted and killed during the Spanish Civil War. "May their martyrdom,” he said, “accepted for the love of God and for their loyalty to their vocation, arouse in the Church the desire to bear witness with fortitude to the Gospel of charity."

The pontiff also said that "tomorrow we will address the Supplication to Our Lady of the Rosary of Pompeii". He called on the faithful to pray the rosary "this month of May . . . in particular for peace, as the Virgin asked in Fatima, where I will go on pilgrimage within a few days, for the centenary of the first appearance."

The pope also greeted a number of groups, singling out one from Chennai (India).

See also

13/10/2013 VATICAN
Pope renews act consecration to Our Lady of Fatima
The three "realities" seen "by looking to Mary ." "God surprises us, God asks us to be faithful, God is our strength." "Do I really let God into my life ? How do I respond to him ?" , “Am I a Christian by fits and starts, or am I a Christian full-time," in front of a "culture of provisional, of the relative" and, finally , do I know how to give " thanks , praise for what the Lord does" because" everything is His gift , He is our strength . "

Church calls on families to be missionaries in secularised society, says Pope
" Dear families, be courageous! Do not give in to that secularized mentality which proposes living together as a preparation, or even a substitute for marriage! Show by the witness of your lives that it is possible, like Christ, to love without reserve, and do not be afraid to make a commitment to another person!! Dear families, rejoice in fatherhood and motherhood! Openness to life is a sign of openness to the future, confidence in the future, just as respect for the natural moral law frees people, rather than demeaning them!. "

21/08/2012 TAIWAN
Immigrant children integration through summer activities in Taiwan
A Catholic group and municipal authorities work together to help children learn the language of their new country and that of their mothers'. Summer schools also take a burden off the shoulders of working parents. The project is available in Taipei, Kaohsiung, Taichung and Yilan.

07/08/2012 TAIWAN
Story of sisters who help victims of family violence becomes a documentary
The congregation of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd have launched an initiative to support women and children experiencing domestic abuse. The numbers are shocking. In Taiwan in 2008 alone there were 75,438 cases known to the government, in 2009, the number rose to 83,728, in 2010 98,720.

26/06/2014 VATICAN
Pope: Jesus, a shepherd who reached the people and warmed their heart
In his homily this morning, Francis looks at four groups who were influential at the time of the Jesus: the Pharisees, Sadducees, Zealots and Essenes. None of them could speak to the people. Jesus, however, could and was followed by crowds because "they were astonished at his teaching," and " gave their hearts to the wonder and amazement to find something good, great." The others "talked, but did not reach the people."

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