|Vatican Radio REPORT: Faith is a gift that begins in our encounter with Jesus, a real, tangible person and not an intangible essence, ‘mist’ or 'spray'. Our real encounter with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit was the focus of Pope Francis Thursday morning celebrated with the Italian State Police who serve the Vatican area. |
The Pope drew inspiration for his homily from the Gospel of John in which Jesus tells the crowd that "he who believes has eternal life". He says the passage is an opportunity for us to examine our conscience. He noted that very often people say they generally believe in God. "But who is this God you believe in?" asked Pope Francis confronting the evanescence of certain beliefs with the reality of a true faith:
In the Gospel passage, Jesus also says that no one can come to him "unless drawn by the Father who sent me." Pope Francis said that these words show that "to go to Jesus, to find Jesus, to know Jesus, is a gift" that God bestows on us.
The Pope said we see an example of this in the first reading from the Acts of the Apostles, where Christ sends Philip to explain the Old Testament in the light of the Resurrection to an officer of the court of the Queen of Egypt. That officer - observed Pope Francis - was not a "common man" but a royal treasurer and because of this, “we may think he was a bit attached to the money", "a careerist." Yet, said the Pope, when this individual listens to Philip speak to him of Jesus "he hears that it is good news", "he feels joy," to the point of being baptized in the first place they find water:
"Those who have faith have eternal life, they have life. But faith is a gift, it is the Father who gifts it. We must continue on this path. But if we travel this path, it is always with our own baggage - because we are all sinners and we all always have things that are wrong. But the Lord will forgive us if we ask for forgiveness, and so we should always press onwards, without being discouraged - but on that path what happened to the royal treasurer will happen to us too”.
Pope Francis, what is described in the Acts of the Apostles, after the officer discovers the faith we also happen to us: "And he went on his way rejoicing":
"It is the joy of faith, the joy of having encountered Jesus, the joy that only Jesus gives us, the joy that gives peace: not what the world gives, but what gives Jesus. This is our faith. We ask the Lord to help us grow in this faith, this faith that makes us strong, that makes us joyful, this faith that always begins with our encounter with Jesus and always continues throughout our lives in our small daily encounters with Jesus. " SHARED FROM RADIO VATICANA
POPE FRANCIS SHARES SORROW OF PLAZA DE MAYO MOTHERS
Vatican City, 18 April 2013 (VIS) - “The Holy Father shares your sorrow, and that of the many mothers and families who have and are suffering the tragic loss of their loved ones at this moment in Argentina's history.” These are the words that the Pope addressed to Hebe de Bonafini, president of the Association of the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, in a letter dated 10 April and signed by Msgr. Antoine Camilleri, under-secretary for the Holy See’s Relations with States.
The Bishop of Rome thus responded to the letter that Hebe de Bonafini sent to him this past 21 March, gladdened by Cardinal Bergoglio's commitment in the “slums” of Buenos Aires and asking him to join with “all those in this unjust world who are fighting for an end to poverty.”
The Pope, writes Msgr. Camilleri, expresses his gratitude for the letter and responds to “your kindness, asking God for the strength for the fight, in the ministry that he has just accepted, for the eradication of poverty in the world, so that the suffering of so many who are in need might cease. His Holiness appreciates and highly esteems those who are close to the most disadvantaged and who make the effort to assist them, understand them, and meet their aspirations. In his prayers, he also asks that those responsible for the common good be enlightened so that they might fight the scourge of poverty with effective, equable, and caring means.”
The letter concludes with the Pope's blessing “as a sign of hope and support, at the same time asking the favour that they pray for and have prayers said for him.”
The Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo is an association of Argentinian mothers created in 1977 to denounce the disappearance of their children during the time of the Military Junta that controlled Argentina from 1976 to 1983. Since 1977 they have assembled every Thursday in the Plaza de Mayo in front of the Casa Rosada (the “Pink House”, seat of the Argentinian government) to protest for the crimes committed during that era and to keep alive the memory of the desaparecidos.
|ALLIANZ AWARDS FR. FEDERICO LOMBARDI AS COMMUNICATOR OF THE YEAR|
Vatican City, 18 April 2013 (VIS) – The German multinational financial services company Allianz Group, present in over 70 countries and with over 78 million clients worldwide, has awarded the Director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., as their Communicator of the Year.
The prize was awarded this morning during a meeting of the company's communications directors who meet once a year in a European capital to analyse themes and strategies tied to the world of communications with the assistance of experts in the field.
Among the reasons for this year's award, Allianz notes that Fr. Lombardi “represents the key to understanding and interpreting the Holy See with great refinement and experience, without seeking to make himself the protagonist.” The text of the award adds that the Press Office Director has always been “at the service of information, from both the side of the one who has it as well as that of the one who seeks it.”
Vatican City, 18 April 2013 (VIS) – This morning the Holy Father received:
- His Excellency Antonio Carlos Carvalho de Almeida Ribeiro, the new ambassador of Portugal to the Holy See, presenting his credential letters,
- His Beatitude Gregorios III Laham, Patriarch of Antioch of the Greek-Melkites, Syria,
eight prelates of the Triveneto region of the Italian Episcopal Conference on their "ad limina" visit:
- Archbishop Luigi Bressan of Trento,
- Archbishop Andrea Bruno Mazzocato of Udine,
- Archbishop Giampaolo Crepaldi, bishop of Trieste,
- Archbishop Carlo Roberto Maria Redaelli of Gorizia,
- Archbishop Gianfranco Agostino Gardin, O.F.M. Conv., bishop of Treviso,
- Bishop Corrado Pizziolo of Vittorio Veneto,
- Bishop Giuseppe Pellegrini of Concordia-Pordenone, and
- Bishop Ivo Muser of Bolzano-Bressanone.
|OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS|
Vatican City, 18 April 2013 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father appointed:
- Bishop Djuro Hranic as metropolitan archbishop of Dakovo-Osijek (area 7,752, population 643,892, Catholics 548,137, priests 250, permanent deacons 1, religious 423), Croatia. Bishop Hranic, previously auxiliary of the same ecclesiastic circumscription, was born in Vinkovci, Croatia in 1961, was ordained to the priesthood in 1986, and received episcopal ordination in 2001, being assigned the See of Gaudiaba. The archbishop-elect succeeds Archbishop Marin Srakic, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
- Fr. David J. Walkowiak as bishop of Grand Rapids (area 17,592, population 1,318,000, Catholics 179,500, priests 141, permanent deacons 40, religious 67), Michigan, USA. Fr. Walkowiak, of the clergy of the Diocese of Cleveland, Ohio, USA, was born in Cleveland in 1953, and was ordained to the priesthood in 1979. Holding a doctorate in Canon Law, he serves as an associate judge of the appellate tribunal for the Province of Cincinnati as well as the pastor of St. Joan of Arc parish in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, USA. The bishop-elect succeeds Bishop Walter Allison Hurley, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.