St Peter's Square
Sunday, 9 June 2013
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Good morning! The month of June is traditionally
dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the greatest
human expression of divine love. In fact last Friday we
celebrated the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
and this feast sets the tone for the entire month.
Popular piety highly values symbols, and the Heart of
Jesus is the ultimate symbol of God’s mercy. But it is
not an imaginary symbol; it is a real symbol which
represents the centre, the source from which salvation
flowed for all of humanity.
In the Gospels we find various references to the
Heart of Jesus. For example there is a passage in which
Christ himself says: “Come to me, all who labour and are
heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon
you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in
heart” (Mt 11:28-29). Then there is the key account of
Christ’s death according to John. Indeed this Evangelist
bears witness to what he saw on Calvary, that is, when
Jesus was already dead a soldier pierced his side with a
spear and blood and water came out of the wound (cf. Jn
19:33-34). In that apparently coincidental sign John
recognizes the fulfillment of the prophecies: from the
Heart of Jesus, the Lamb sacrificed on the Cross, flow
forgiveness and life for all people.
The mercy of Jesus is not only an emotion; it is a
force which gives life that raises man! Today’s Gospel
also tells us this in the episode of the widow of Nain (Lk
7:11-17). With his disciples, Jesus arrives in Nain, a
village in Galilee, right at the moment when a funeral
is taking place. A boy, the only son of a widow, is
being carried for burial. Jesus immediately fixes his
gaze on the crying mother. The Evangelist Luke says:
“And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her”
(v. 13). This “compassion” is God’s love for man, it is
mercy, thus the attitude of God in contact with human
misery, with our destitution, our suffering, our
anguish. The biblical term “compassion” recalls a
mother’s womb. The mother in fact reacts in a way all
her own in confronting the pain of her children. It is
in this way, according to Scripture, that God loves us.
What is the fruit of this love and mercy? It is life!
Jesus says to the widow of Nain: “Do not weep” and then
he calls the dead boy and awakes him as if from sleep
(cf. vv. 13-15). Let’s think about this, it’s beautiful:
God’s mercy gives life to man, it raises him from the
dead. Let us not forget that the Lord always watches
over us with mercy; he always watches over us with
mercy. Let us not be afraid of approaching him! He has a
merciful heart! If we show him our inner wounds, our
inner sins, he will always forgive us. It is pure mercy
Let us go to Jesus!
Let us turn to the Virgin Mary: her Immaculate Heart,
a mother’s heart, has fully shared in the “compassion”
of God, especially in the hour of the passion and death
of Jesus. May Mary help us to be mild, humble and
merciful with our brothers.
After the Angelus:
Dear brothers and sisters, today
in Krakow two Polish women religious
are being beatified: Zofia Czeska
Maciejowska, who in the first half
of the 17th century founded the
Congregation of the Virgins of the
Presentation of the Blessed Virgin
Mary; and Margherita Lucia Szewczyk,
who in the 19th century founded the
Congregation of the Daughters of the
Sorrowful Mother of God. Together
with the Church in Krakow, let us
give thanks to the Lord!
I greet with affection all the pilgrims present
today: groups of parishes, of families and of schools,
associations and movements. I greet you all!
I greet the faithful who have come from Mumbai,
I greet the Family Love Movement of Rome, the
confraternities and volunteers of the Shrine of
Mongiovino, near Perugia, Umbria, Franciscan Youth of
Umbria, the “House of Charity” in Lecce, the faithful of
the province of Modena, whom I encourage in their
reconstruction, and those of Ceprano. I greet the
pilgrims of Ortona, where we venerate the relics of the
Apostle Thomas, who made a journey “from Thomas to
Peter”! Thank you!
Today let us not forget the love of God, the love of
Jesus: he watches us, he loves us, he waits for us. He
is all heart and all mercy. Let us go with faith to
Jesus, he always forgives us.
I wish everyone a happy Sunday and have a good lunch!