2. Christ is always in our midst and desires to speak to our hearts. We can listen to him by meditating with faith on Sacred Scripture, by recollection in private and communal prayer, by silent meditation before the Tabernacle, from which he speaks to us of his love.


Christians, especially on Sundays, are called to meet and listen to the Lord. This happens most completely through participation in Holy Mass, during which Christ prepares the banquet of the Word and of the Bread of Life for the faithful. But other moments of prayer and reflection, of rest and brotherhood, can also be profitably combined to make the Lord's Day holy.


3. When, through the action of the Holy Spirit, God takes up his dwelling in the heart of the believer, it becomes easier for him/her to serve the brethren. This is what happened in a unique and perfect way in Mary Most Holy. To her we entrust this vacation period, to make the most of it as a favourable time to rediscover the primacy of the interior life.



After leading the Angelus the Holy Father greeted the groups present in various languages.


I am pleased to be with you again, dear citizens of Castel Gandolfo, and I thank you for your welcome, as warm as always. I cordially greet Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Secretary of State, titular Bishop of the Diocese of Albano, Bishop Agostino Vallini and Bishop Paolo Gillet, the Parish Priest and his collaborators. I greet the Mayor and the other municipal Authorities, the Director and the Personnel of the Pontifical Villas and all of you, dear people of Castel Gandolfo.


I greet the French-speaking visitors who are with us for the prayer of the Angelus, especially the young people. May you take Mary as the model for your Christian life!


I greet the English-speaking visitors who have prayed the Angelus with us today: may these summer months bring you the Lord's blessings of grace and peace.


I cordially greet the Spanish-speaking pilgrims who have come to Castel Gandolfo for the prayer of the Angelus. May the Virgin Mary accompany you in this vacation period! Have a happy Sunday!

I greet the Polish pilgrims: from Bujakw, from the Diocese of Zielona Gra-Gorzw, the "Oasis of New Life" group in third grade, and all who are gathered with us via radio and television. God bless you all, best wishes and happy vacation!


Lastly I greet with affection the Italian-speaking pilgrims, and wish them all a good Sunday.


Acknowledgment: We thank the Vatican Publisher for allowing us to publish the Homily of Blessed Pope John Paul II, so that it could be accessed by more people all over the world; as a source of God痴 encouragements to all of us.  





Courtyard of the Papal Residence, Castel Gandolfo
Sunday, 18 July 2010



Dear Brothers and Sisters,


We are now in the heart of summer, at least in the northern hemisphere. This is the period in which schools are closed and the greater part of the holidays are concentrated. Even the pastoral activities in parishes are reduced and I myself have suspended the Audiences for a while. It is therefore a favourable time to give priority to what is effectively most important in life, that is to say, listening to the word of the Lord. We are also reminded of this by this Sunday's Gospel passage with the well known episode of Jesus' visit to the house of Martha and Mary, recounted by St Luke (10: 38-42).

Martha and Mary are two sisters; they also have a brother, Lazarus, but he does not appear on this occasion. Jesus is passing through their village and, the text says, Martha received him at her home (cf. 10: 38). This detail enables us to understand that Martha is the elder of the two, the one in charge of the house. Indeed, when Jesus has been made comfortable, Mary sits at his feet and listens to him while Martha is totally absorbed by her many tasks, certainly due to the special Guest.

We seem to see the scene: one sister bustling about busily and the other, as it were, enraptured by the presence of the Teacher and by his words. A little later Martha, who is evidently resentful, can no longer resist and complains, even feeling that she has a right to criticize Jesus: "Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me".
Martha would even like to teach the Teacher! Jesus on the other hand answers her very calmly: "Martha, Martha", and the repetition of her name expresses his affection, "you are anxious and troubled about many things; only one thing is needful. Mary has chosen the good portion, which shall not be taken away from her" (10: 41-42). Christ's words are quite clear: there is no contempt for active life, nor even less for generous hospitality; rather, a distinct reminder of the fact that the only really necessary thing is something else: listening to the word of the Lord; and the Lord is there at that moment, present in the Person of Jesus! All the rest will pass away and will be taken from us but the word of God is eternal and gives meaning to our daily actions.


Dear friends, as I said, this Gospel passage is more than ever in tune with the vacation period, because it recalls the fact that the human person must indeed work and be involved in domestic and professional occupations, but first and foremost needs God, who is the inner light of Love and Truth. Without love, even the most important activities lose their value and give no joy. Without a profound meaning, all our activities are reduced to sterile and unorganised activism. And who, if not Jesus Christ, gives us Love and Truth? Therefore, brothers and sisters, let us learn to help each other, to collaborate, but first of all to choose together the better part which is and always will be our greatest good.


After the Angelus :


I am pleased to greet the English-speaking visitors here in Castel Gandolfo. In today's Gospel we are reminded of the need to rest from our daily labours, so that we may give time to the one thing that is truly necessary in our lives listening to the word of God in attentive stillness. It is Mary, not Martha, who chose the better part. At this time when many of you are on holiday, I pray that you and your loved ones may be truly refreshed in body and spirit, so that you may return with renewed vigour to the responsibilities of your daily lives. May God bless you all!


Lastly, I address a cordial greeting to the Italian-speaking pilgrims and in particular to the AGESCI Scouts from Belcastro, to the Ugandan young people of the Opera Famiglia di Nazareth and to those who come from Cernobbio. I wish everyone a good Sunday.


Acknowledgment: We thank the Vatican Publisher for allowing us to publish the Homily of Benedict XVI, so that it could be accessed by more people all over the world; as a source of God痴 encouragements to all of us.  





St Peter's Square
Sunday, 21 July 2013



Dear Brothers and Sisters, Good morning!


This Sunday we continue reading the 10 chapters of the Evangelist Luke. The passage today is that on Martha and Mary. Who are these two women? Martha and Mary, sisters of Lazarus, are the relatives and faithful disciples of the Lord, who lived in Bethany. St Luke describes them in this way: Mary, at the feet of Jesus, 斗istened to his teaching, while Martha was burdened with much serving (cf. Luke 10:39-40). Both welcome the Lord on his brief visit, but they do so differently. Mary sets herself at the feet of Jesus to listen but Martha lets herself become absorbed in preparing everything, and so much so that she says to Jesus: 鏑ord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me (v. 40). And Jesus answers scolding her sweetly: 溺artha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing (v. 41).

What does Jesus mean? What is this one thing that we need? First of all, it is important to understand that this is not about two contradictory attitudes: listening to the word of the Lord, contemplation, and practical service to our neighbour. These are not two attitudes opposed to one another, but, on the contrary, they are two essential aspects in our Christian life; aspects that can never be separated, but are lived out in profound unity and harmony. Why then was Martha scolded, even if kindly, by Jesus? Because she considered only what she was doing to be essential; she was too absorbed and worried by the things 鍍o do. For a Christian, works of service and charity are never detached from the principle of all our action: that is, listening to the Word of the Lord, to be like Mary at the feet of Jesus, with the attitude of a disciple. And that is why Martha was scolded.


In our Christian life too, dear brothers and sisters, may prayer and action always be deeply united. A prayer that does not lead you to practical action for your brother the poor, the sick, those in need of help, a brother in difficulty is a sterile and incomplete prayer. But, in the same way, when ecclesial service is attentive only to doing, things gain in importance, functions, structures, and we forget the centrality of Christ. When time is not set aside for dialogue with him in prayer, we risk serving ourselves and not God present in our needy brother and sister. St Benedict sums up the kind of life that indicated for his monks in two words: ora et labora, pray and work. It is from contemplation, from a strong friendship with the Lord that the capacity is born in us to live and to bring the love of God, his mercy, his tenderness, to others. And also our work with brothers in need, our charitable works of mercy, lead us to the Lord, because it is in the needy brother and sister that we see the Lord himself.


Let us ask the Virgin Mary, the Mother of listening and of service, to teach us to meditate in our hearts on the Word of her Son, to pray faithfully, to be ever more attentive in practical ways to the needs of our brothers and sisters.


After the Angelus


I warmly greet all the pilgrims present: families, parishes, associations, movements and groups. I especially greet the faithful from Florence, Foggia and Villa Castelli, and the altar servers from Conselve and their families. I see written down there: 釘uon viaggio! [Have a good trip]. Thank you! Thank you! I ask that you accompany me in spirit with your prayers throughout my first Apostolic Journey which I will begin tomorrow. As you know, I will travel to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil for the 28th World Youth Day. There will be many young people there, from every part of the world. And I think that this could be called the Week for Youth: that痴 it, the Week for Youth! The heroes of this week will be the youth. All those who come to Rio wanting to hear the voice of Jesus, to listen to Jesus: 鏑ord, what should I do with my life? What is the path for me?. You too I don't know whether there are young people here in the square today! Are there young people? There they are: you too, young people in the square, ask that same question of the Lord: 鏑ord Jesus, what should I do with my life? What is the path for me?. Let us entrust to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, so loved and venerated in Brazil, this question: what the young people there will do, and this what you will do, today. And may Our Lady help us in this new stage of the pilgrimage.


To all of you I wish a good Sunday! Enjoy your lunch. Farewell!


Acknowledgment: We thank the Vatican Publisher for allowing us to publish the Homily of Pope Francis I, so that it could be accessed by more people all over the world; as a source of God痴 encouragements to all of us.  

27 July 2013

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