It was the 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time on 15 September 2013.


Here are the Readings that were read in the Eucharistic Celebrations all over the world on the same day (see previous page): 

1st Reading: Exodus 32:7-11, 13-14,

Responsorial: Psalm 51:3-4, 12-13, 17, 19,

2nd Reading: 1 Timothy 1:12-17 &

Gospel Reading: Luke 15:1-32.


We have extracted the Homilies of Blessed Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI & Pope Francis I based on the aforesaid Readings to share with you, so that you could similarly be encouraged: 



Sunday, 16 September 2001


1. Give us, Father, the joy of your pardon (cf. Responsorial Psalm).


The joy of your pardon:  this is the "good news" that the liturgy makes resound among us today. Pardon is the joy of God even before it becomes the joy of man. God rejoices in welcoming the repentant sinner; indeed, he himself, the Father of infinite mercy, "dives in misericordia", arouses in the human heart the hope of forgiveness and the joy of reconciliation.


With this news of comfort and peace, I come to you, brothers and sisters of the beloved Church in Frosinone-Veroli-Ferentino, to repay the visit that you made to me in St Peter's Square last 2 December, on the occasion of your Jubilee pilgrimage. I thank divine Providence for bringing me among you.


I am grateful to your Bishop, Salvatore Boccaccio, for the warm greeting he has offered me on your behalf. May the Lord reward with abundant fruit his pastoral zeal! With him, I am pleased to greet the Bishop emeritus, Angelo Cella, and the Cardinals and bishops present, as well as the priests concelebrating, and I assure of my special prayer the elderly or sick who are united with us in spirit. I greet the Italian Government representatives and the regional, provincial and municipal authorities, with special gratitude to the Mayor and Administration of Frosinone. To each one of you, brothers and sisters who are gathered here, I extend my cordial greetings and sincere thanks for your warm welcome.

"God is greater than our hearts". So we sang in the Gospel acclamation. If in the First Reading Moses proves that he knows God's heart and can implore forgiveness for his unfaithful people (cf. Exodus 32, 11-13), it is today's Gospel that fully introduces us to the mystery of God's mercy:  Jesus reveals to all of us the countenance of God, enabling us to know intimately the heart of the Father, who is ready to rejoice when his lost son returns.


The Apostle Paul is also a privileged witness of divine mercy:  as was proclaimed in the Second Reading, in writing to his faithful collaborator, Timothy, he holds up his own conversion as proof that Christ came into the world to save sinners (cf. I Timothy 1,15-16).

This is the truth that the Church never tires of proclaiming:  God loves us with an infinite love. He gave to humanity his Only-begotten Son who died on the Cross for the remission of our sins. Believing in Jesus therefore means recognizing him as the Saviour to whom we can say, from the depths of our hearts:  "You are my hope" and, with all our brethren, "You are our hope".

"Jesus our hope!". Dear friends, I know that this expression is now familiar to you. Indeed, it is the theme of your diocese's pastoral plan for the coming years. How I hope that my visit will help to impress this certainty more deeply on your hearts! The commitment, plans and work of each and every community must become a Gospel witness that is rooted in the joyful hope of God's love and forgiveness!


God's forgiveness! May this joyful announcement that in a special way today's world needs live at the heart of your lives, dear priests, who are called to be ministers of divine mercy, which is expressed in the pardon of sins in its highest degree. I wished to dedicate the Letter to Priests for last Holy Thursday to the sacrament of Reconciliation. Therefore, in spirit, I once again entrust this message to you, dear brothers in the priesthood, imploring for each of you and for the entire presbyterate the superabundance of grace of which the Apostle Paul spoke (cf. I Timothy 1,14).


As for you, men and women religious, by your example may you radiate the joy of those who have experienced the mystery of God's love, expressed in the Gospel acclamation:  "We know and believe the love God has for us" (cf. I John 4,16).


Meditating, loving and reflection on the Gospel means listening to the Word of the Lord
4. In our time we urgently need to proclaim Christ, Redeemer of man, so that his love may be known by all and may spread in every direction. The Great Jubilee of the Year 2000 has been a providential opportunity to announce him. But we must continue on this path. At the closing of the Holy Year, I repeated to the Church and to the world Christ's invitation to Peter: 
"Duc in altum - Put out into the deep" (Lk 5,4).


I renew this invitation to you, people of the Diocese of Frosinone-Veroli-Ferentino, so that it may guide you in a courageous spiritual renewal, to become a concrete pastoral plan. Build your present and your future keeping your eyes fixed on Jesus. He is all:  all for the Church, all for man's salvation. With the Jubilee, the universal Church set out to seek the face of Christ. She must be more conscious of the need, the passion of contemplating the light that comes from that face to reflect it in her own daily journey:  Jesus-Son of God; Jesus-the Eucharist; Jesus-Charity. Jesus our hope! Jesus, all for us.


May strong periods of study and reflection on the Word of God be multiplied in parish communities. Meditating, studying and loving Sacred Scripture means humbly and attentively listening to the Lord, so that the community may grow around the table of his Word:  it enlightens approaches and choices, points to the goals to strive for, but, first and foremost, it kindles faith in souls, feeds hope and invigorates the desire to proclaim the Good News to one and all. This is the new evangelization for which your diocesan community has set up a special "pastoral centre".

Dear brothers and sisters! May the heart and guide of your spiritual and apostolic journey be the Eucharist. Indeed, sacramental life is the source of grace and salvation for the Church. Everything begins with Christ-the Eucharist, everything returns to the living Christ, heart of the world, heart of the diocesan and parish community. If you succeed, as I hope you will, in putting Christ at the centre of your lives, you will find not only that he asks each one of you personally to accept him, but to offer, give, dispense, and communicate him to others. You should do this in his name as "Good Samaritans" among the needy, the poor, the most underprivileged, and the many immigrants who have arrived in this region from far-away countries. You will find that all the pastoral activity of centres "for worship and sanctification" and for "ministeriality and the witness of charity" springs from the overflowing source of holiness that is the mystery of the Eucharist that calls everyone to aspire to holiness.


Walking in the footsteps of the men and women saints of this region of the Ciociaria, you too have set yourselves the fundamental goal of becoming holy, just as your heavenly Father is holy, as his Son Jesus Christ is holy and as the Spirit who dwells in our hearts is holy. And one becomes holy with prayer, with participation in the Eucharist, with works of charity, with the witness of a good life that is humble and generous.

6. I would like to address a special word to
parents. Dear mothers and fathers, show your children by your own dedication that God is good and greatly loving. Show them with an honest and hard-working life that holiness is the "normal" way for Christians.


On Sunday, 21 October, I will have the joy of raising a couple, a Roman husband and wife to the honour of the altars:  the married couple, Luigi and Maria Beltrame Quattrocchi. Their beatification will be celebrated in the context of the National Meeting for Families organized by the Italian Bishops' Conference in St Peter's Square, Rome, on Saturday afternoon, 20, and on Sunday, 21 October. To both these events, in which I wish to take part personally, I invite the bishops, priests and all Italian families, especially those of the Lazio region in which the two new blesseds lived.


They will be an opportunity for us to reflect on the vocation to holiness of Christian families and at the same time, to acquire a greater knowledge of the social role of families and to ask institutions to protect and promote the family with proper laws and norms.

Diocese of Frosinone-Veroli-Ferentino, be a family of saints! In this beloved land of Ciociaria, the home of famous figures and generous servants of the Gospel, may you be the "salt of the earth" and "light of the world" (Matthew 5,13-14).


May Mary, Mother of the Church accompany you with her intercession so that, just as you prayed intensely to prepare for this pastoral visit, you may continue to be a lively community, firm in faith, united in hope and persevering in charity.






At the end of Mass and before praying the Angelus, the Holy Father addressed a few words to the young people.


I cannot leave without first addressing a special greeting to you, young people of Ciociaria, who wanted to offer me this pleasant and lovely improvisation. I thank the two young people who have expressed your sentiments, sharing with me your enthusiasm and the desire to look at life with confidence, without allowing yourselves to be discouraged by difficulties.

Dear young people, remember! Jesus Christ, "our hope" is a sure compass to guide you on your journey. Look to him and trust in him, advancing courageously on the path to holiness. Continue without hesitation, along with the entire diocesan community, under the guidance of your bishop and priests. The Lord is counting on each one of you; he wants you to play the lead in the civilization of life and love. Help one another to be witnesses of the Gospel and apostles among your peers.


I greet you individually and make an appointment with you, at least in spirit, for the great meeting of the Christian youth of the world which, please God, will take place in July next year, in Toronto, for World Youth Day. Prepare for this great youth meeting, which has henceforth become, as it were, a formative itinerary for thousands and thousands of young Catholics of every continent. Prepare yourselves for it with prayer and make sure that you take advantage of each day to grow in getting to know and love Christ and in serving in a concrete way your brothers and sisters.


The Pope follows you with prayer and blesses you with affection.


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



Papal Summer Residence, Castel Gandolfo
Sunday, 16 September 2007 


Dear Brothers and Sisters,


The liturgy today once again presents for our meditation Chapter 15 of Luke's Gospel, one of the loftiest and most moving passages of all Sacred Scripture. It is beautiful to think that on this day throughout the world, wherever the Christian community gathers to celebrate the Sunday Eucharist, the Good News of truth and salvation rings out: God is merciful love.


The Evangelist Luke has gathered in this Chapter three parables on divine mercy: the two shortest ones which he has in common with Matthew and Mark are the Parables of the Lost Sheep and the Lost Coin; the third, lengthy, articulate and proper to him alone, is the famous parable of the merciful Father, commonly known as the parable of the "Prodigal Son".


In this Gospel passage, we almost seem to hear Jesus' voice revealing to us the Face of his Father and our Father. Basically, this was the reason he came into the world: to speak to us of the Father; to make him known to us, his lost children, and to revive in our hearts the joy of belonging to him, the hope of being forgiven and restored to our full dignity, the desire to dwell for ever in his house which is also our house.


Jesus recounted the three parables of mercy because the Scribes and Pharisees were muttering bad things about him since they had noticed he permitted sinners to approach him and even eat with him (cf. Luke 15: 1-3). He then explained in his typical language that God does not want even one of his children to be lost and that his soul overflows with joy whenever a sinner is converted.


True religion thus consists in being attuned to this Heart, "rich in mercy", which asks us to love everyone, even those who are distant and our enemies, imitating the Heavenly Father who respects the freedom of each one and draws everyone to himself with the invincible power of his faithfulness.

This is the road Jesus points out to all who want to be his disciples: "Judge not... condemn not... forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you.... Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful" (Luke 6: 36-38). In these words we find very practical instructions for our daily conduct as believers.


In our time, humanity needs a strong proclamation and witness of God's mercy. Beloved John Paul II, a great apostle of Divine Mercy, prophetically intuited this urgent pastoral need. He dedicated his Second Encyclical to it and throughout his Pontificate made himself a missionary of God's love to all peoples.


After the tragic events of 11 September 2001, which darkened the dawn of the third millennium, he invited Christians and people of good will to believe that God's Mercy is stronger than all evil, and that only in the Cross of Christ is the world's salvation found.


May the Virgin Mary, Mother of Mercy, whom we contemplated yesterday as Our Lady of Sorrows at the foot of the Cross, obtain for us the gift of always trusting in God's love and help us to be merciful as our Father in Heaven is merciful.


After the Angelus: 


This morning at the Shrine of Lichen, Poland, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, my Secretary of State, in my name, beatified Fr Stanislaus Papczynski, Founder of the Congregation of Marian Clerks. I address a cordial greeting to the faithful gathered for this happy occasion and to the numerous devotees of the new Blessed, who venerate in him an exemplary priest in preaching and lay formation, a father of the poor and an apostle of prayer of suffrage for the deceased.


Likewise, this morning in Bordeaux, Cardinal Josť Saraiva Martins, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, beatified Sr Marie-Celine of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a professed nun of the Second Order of St Francis. Her life, marked by the Cross, was intended as a sign of love for Christ, as she herself said: "I am determined to be a rose of charity".


I would also like to remember Fr Basil Anthony Mary Moreau, Founder of the Congregation of the Holy Cross, beatified yesterday at Le Mans by the Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.

I especially entrust to the intercession of these new Blesseds their spiritual sons and daughters, so that they may ardently follow the shining witness of the prophets of God, Lord of all life.


Today is the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the "Montreal Protocol" on substances that impoverish the ozone layer, causing serious damage to the human being and the ecosystem.


In the past two decades, thanks to exemplary collaboration in the international community between politics, science and economics, important results have been achieved with positive repercussions on the present and future generations.


I hope that cooperation on everyone's part will be intensified in order to promote the common good and the development and safeguard of creation, strengthening the alliance between man and the environment, which must mirror the creative love of God from whom we come and to whom we are bound.

I wish a good Sunday to all!


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22 September 2013