After the Regina Caeli:
I share in the joy of the Church in Portugal for the Beatification of Mother Maria Clara of the Child Jesus, which took place in Lisbon, on 21 May; and in that of Brazil for the proclamation as Blessed of Sr Dulce Lopes Pontes, on 22 May, in São Salvado da Bahia.
I welcome all the English-speaking visitors who join us for this Regina Caeli prayer. In a special way I greet the participants in the leadership training course offered by the Saint Egidio community, assuring them of my prayers for their efforts to proclaim the Gospel and serve the poor and needy in their native countries. Also in these days the International Ecumenical Peace Convocation, organized by the World Council of Churches, is meeting in Kingston, Jamaica. The Convocation is the culmination of a decade-long programme aimed at combating all forms of violence. Let us join in prayer for this noble intention, and recommit ourselves to eliminating violence in families, in society and in the international community. Dear friends, in the joy of this Easter Season, may we be strengthened by the Risen Lord to follow him faithfully and to share in his life. Upon you and your families I invoke God’s abundant blessings.
To a group of pilgrims from the pro-life movement:
Dear friends, I congratulate you in particular for the commitment with which you help women who face difficult pregnancies, engaged couples and married people who desire responsible procreation; In so doing, you work concretely for the culture of life. I ask the Lord that, thanks also to your contribution, the “yes to life” will be a motive for unity in Italy and in every country of the world. I bless the children accompanied by UNITALSI, who by overcoming debilitating illnesses make themselves witnesses of peace. I encourage the sick and the volunteers present on the occasion of the National Week of Multiple Sclerosis.
To everyone I wish a good Sunday and a good week. Thank you for coming.
Acknowledgment: We thank the Vatican Publisher for allowing us to publish the Homilies of Pope Benedict XVI, so that they could be accessed by more people all over the world; as a source of God’s encouragements to all of us.
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.
Dear Daddy God, we thank you for your continuous blessing.
To obey Jesus Christ, we will forgive those Overseas News Stations who had fabricated damaging reports on our Singapore Economy, our Competitiveness and broadcasted to the whole World on 13 May 2014. This is at least the 3rd major incident that the same people have created to cause damage to Singapore since 2012.
The World Competitiveness Ranking 2014 published by the IMD World Competitiveness Center ( www.imd.org ) came at the right time to automatically rebut those damaging remarks. We are happy that we are ranked 3rd after USA and Switzerland.
Dear Daddy God, help us not to be too concerned about our ranking but continue to work hard to be Useful Contributors to the International Communities and to create Harmony and Unity within our multi-racial society. Let all of us do our utmost best to love & support each other dearly as we move forward as a “little red dot” nation.
Dear Daddy God, we thank you for sending your Angels to live among us and that is how we could always feel the music within our hearts and find Love, Joy & Peace within our beautiful Garden City.
Help us also be generous givers of Your Love, Joy and Peace to ALL people of Goodwill who come to visit us and let them experience the same thing as what You have given us.
Thank you Daddy God, we are very happy and we are grateful. Amen.
The Singaporeans, 22 May 2014
Saint Peter's Square
Dear Brothers and Sisters, Good morning!
Today the Reading from the Acts of the Apostles enables us to see that the first tensions and the first dissension also arose in the early Church. There are conflicts in life, the question is how we confront them. Until that time the unity of the Christian communities had been fostered by belonging to one single ethnicity, and to one single culture, that of the Jews. But when Christianity, which by the will of Jesus is destined for all peoples, opened up to the Greek cultural atmosphere, this homogeneity is lost and the first difficulties arose. At that time, discontent was spreading, there was grumbling, rumours of favouritism and unequal treatment circling. This happens in our parishes too! The community’s help to those in need — widows, orphans and the poor in general — seems to favour Christians of Jewish extraction over others.
And so, faced with this conflict, the Apostles take the situation into their own hands: they call a meeting that is also open to the disciples, and they discuss the matter together. Everyone. Problems, in fact, are not resolved by pretending that they do not exist! And this frank and open exchange between pastors and the other faithful is beautiful. They then come to the subdivision of some of the tasks. The Apostles make a proposal that is welcomed by all: they will dedicate themselves to prayer and to the ministry of the Word, while seven men, deacons, will provide for the service of the tables for the poor. These seven men are not chosen because they are experts in business, but because they are honest men of good repute, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom; and they are established in the service through the imposition of hands by the Apostles. So from that malcontent, that grumbling, from those rumours of favouritism and unequal treatment, they arrive at a solution. Conflicts in the Church are resolved by facing one other, by discussing and praying. By facing each other, by discussing and praying, with the certainty that gossip, envy, jealousy can never bring us to concord, harmony or peace. There, too, it was the Holy Spirit who crowned this understanding, and this enables us to understand that when we let ourselves to be guided by the Holy Spirit, he brings us to harmony, unity and respect for various gifts and talents. Have you understood well? No gossiping, no envy, no jealousy! Understood? May the Virgin Mary help us to be docile to the Holy Spirit, so that we may be able to esteem one another and converge ever more deeply in faith and love, keeping our hearts open to the needs of our brothers.
After the Regina Caeli:
Dear brothers and sisters, severe flooding has devastated large parts of the Balkans, especially in Serbia and Bosnia. As I entrust to the Lord the victims of this disaster, I express my personal closeness to those who are experiencing hours of anguish and tribulation. Let us pray the Hail Mary together for these brothers and sisters, who are in great trouble.
Hail Mary. . .
Yesterday in Iasi, Romania, Bishop Anton Durcovici, a martyr for the faith, was proclaimed blessed. A zealous and courageous pastor, he was persecuted by the Romanian Communist regime and died in prison of hunger and thirst in 1951. Together with the faithful of Iasi and of all of Romania, we give thanks to God for this example! I greet the delegations from the cities of Perth, Australia, and Vasto Italy, which have been twin cities for 25 years. I wish you all a blessed Sunday. Have a good lunch and arrivederci!
Acknowledgment: We thank the Vatican Publisher for allowing us to publish the Homily of Pope Francis I, so that they could be accessed by more people all over the world; as a source of God’s encouragements to all of us.
6th Sunday of Easter, First Reading: Acts of the Apostles 8: 5-8, 14-17
Philip went to a Samaritan town and proclaimed the Christ to them. The people united in welcoming the message Philip preached, either because they had heard of the miracles he worked or because they saw them for themselves.
There were, for example, unclean spirits that came shrieking out of many who were possessed, and several paralytics and cripples were cured.
As a result there was great rejoicing in that town.
When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, and they went down there, and prayed for the Samaritans to receive the Holy Spirit, for as yet he had not come down on any of them: they had only been baptised in the name of the Lord Jesus.
Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.
Sixth Sunday of Easter, Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 66:1-7, 16, 20
Cry out with joy to God, all the earth.
Cry out with joy to God all the earth, O sing to the glory of his name.
O render him glorious praise. Say to God: ‘How tremendous your deeds!
‘Before you all the earth shall bow; shall sing to you, sing to your name!’
Come and see the works of God, tremendous his deeds among men.
He turned the sea into dry land, they passed through the river dry-shod.
Let our joy then be in him; he rules for ever by his might.
Come and hear, all who fear God. I will tell what he did for my soul:
Blessed be God who did not reject my prayer nor withhold his love from me.