But what is the power that unites the family? It is indeed love, and the One who sows love in our hearts is God, God’s love, it is precisely God’s love that gives meaning to our small daily tasks and helps us face the great trials. This is the true treasure of humankind: going forward in life with love, with that love which the Lord has sown in our hearts, with God’s love. This is the true treasure. But what is God’s love? It is not something vague, some generic feeling. God’s love has a name and a face: Jesus Christ, Jesus. Love for God is made manifest in Jesus. For we cannot love air.... Do we love air? Do we love all things? No, no we cannot, we love people and the person we love is Jesus, the gift of the Father among us. It is a love that gives value and beauty to everything else; a love that gives strength to the family, to work, to study, to friendship, to art, to all human activity. It even gives meaning to negative experiences, because this love allows us to move beyond these experiences, to go beyond them, not to remain prisoners of evil, it moves us beyond, always opening us to hope, that’s it! Love of God in Jesus always opens us to hope, to that horizon of hope, to the final horizon of our pilgrimage. In this way our labours and failures find meaning. Even our sin finds meaning in the love of God because this love of God in Jesus Christ always forgives us. He loves us so much that he always forgives us.


Dear brothers and sisters, in the Church today we are commemorating St Clare of Assisi who, in the footsteps of Francis, left everything to consecrate herself to Christ in poverty. St Clare gives us a very beautiful testimony of today’s Gospel reading: may she, together with the Virgin Mary, help us to live the Gospel, each one of us according to one’s own vocation.


After the Angelus

Dear brothers and sisters, we remember that this Thursday is the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary. Let us think about Our Mother who arrived in Heaven with Jesus and on that day we celebrate her.


I would like to greet the Muslims of the whole world, our brothers and sisters, who recently celebrated the end of the month of Ramadan, dedicated in a special way to fasting, prayer and almsgiving. As I wrote in my message for this occasion, I hope that all Christians and Muslims will work to promote mutual respect especially through the education of the new generations.


I greet with affection all the Romans and pilgrims present. Today I also have the joy of greeting various youth groups: those from Chicago on their pilgrimage to Lourdes and Rome; then the youth of Locate, Predore and Tavernola Bergamasca, and to the Scouts of Vittoria. I also repeat to you the words which were the theme of the great meeting in Rio: “Go and make disciples of all nations”.


To you all and to everyone, I wish a happy Sunday and a good lunch! Goodbye!


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’s encouragements to all of us.  

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25 August 2013