We must always remember those who have gone before us, those who founded the fruitful Church in Quebéc! The missionaries from Quebec who went everywhere were fruitful. The world was full of Canadian missionaries like François de Laval and Marie de l’Incarnation. So a word of advice: remembering them prevents us from renouncing candour and courage. Perhaps – indeed, even without perhaps – the devil is jealous and will not tolerate that a land could be such fertile ground for missionaries. Let us pray to the Lord, that Quebéc may once again bear much fruit, that it may give the world many missionaries. May the two missionaries, who we celebrate today, and who – in a manner of speaking – founded the Church in Québec, help us by their intercession. May the seed that they sowed grow and bear fruit in new courageous men and women, who are far-sighted, with hearts open to the Lord’s call. Today, each one must ask this for your homeland. The saints will intercede for us from heaven. May Quebéc once again be a source of brave and holy missionaries.
This, then, is the joy and the challenge of this pilgrimage of yours: to commemorate the witnesses, the missionaries of the faith in your country. Their memory sustains us always in our journey towards the future, towards the goal, when “the Lord God will wipe away the tears from all faces…”.
“Let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation” (Isaiah 25:9).
Saint Peter's Square
Dear Brothers and Sisters, Good Morning,
In this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus speaks to us about the response given to the invitation from God — who is represented by a king — to participate in a wedding banquet (cf. Matthew 22:1-14). The invitation has three characteristics: freely offered, breadth and universality. Many people were invited, but something surprising happened: none of the intended guests came to take part in the feast, saying they had other things to do; indeed, some were even indifferent, impertinent, even annoyed. God is good to us, he freely offers us his friendship, he freely offers us his joy, his salvation; but so often we do not accept his gifts, we place our practical concerns, our interests first. And when the Lord is calling to us, it so often seems to annoy us.
Some of the intended guests went so far as to abuse and kill the servants who delivered the invitation. But despite the lack of response from those called, God’s plan is never interrupted. In facing the rejection of the first invitees, He is not discouraged, He does not cancel the feast, but makes another invitation, expanding it beyond all reasonable limits, and sends his servants into the town squares and the byways to gather anyone they find. These, however, are ordinary, poor, neglected and marginalized people, good and bad alike — even bad people are invited — without distinction. And the hall is filled with “the excluded”. The Gospel, rejected by some, is unexpectedly welcomed in many other hearts.
The goodness of God has no bounds and does not discriminate against anyone. For this reason the banquet of the Lord’s gifts is universal, for everyone. Everyone is given the opportunity to respond to the invitation, to his call; no one has the right to feel privileged or to claim an exclusive right. All of this induces us to break the habit of conveniently placing ourselves at the centre, as did the High Priests and the Pharisees. One must not do this; we must open ourselves to the peripheries, also acknowledging that, at the margins too, even one who is cast aside and scorned by society is the object of God’s generosity. We are all called not to reduce the Kingdom of God to the confines of the “little church” — our “tiny little church” — but to enlarge the Church to the dimensions of the Kingdom of God. However, there is one condition: wedding attire must be worn, that is, charity toward God and neighbour must be shown.
Let us entrust the tragedies and the hopes of so many of our excluded, weak, outcast, scorned brothers and sisters, as well as of those who are persecuted for reasons of faith, to the intercession of Most Holy Mary, and let us also invoke her protection upon the work of the Synod of Bishops, meeting in the Vatican during these days.
After the Angelus:
Dear brothers and sisters, this morning in Sassari, Fr Francesco Ziarno of the Order of Friars Minor Conventual, was declared Blessed: he preferred to be killed rather than deny the faith. Let us give thanks to God for this priest and martyr, a heroic witness to the Gospel. His courageous faithfulness to Christ is an act of great eloquence, especially in the current context of the ruthless persecution of Christians.
At this time, our thoughts turn to the city of Genoa hard hit, once again, by flooding. I assure my prayers for the victims and for those who have suffered serious damage. May Our Lady of the Guard sustain the dear people of Genoa in a concerted effort to overcome this difficult trial. Let us all pray together to Our Lady of the Guard: Hail Mary.... May Our Lady of the Guard protect Genoa!
I greet all the pilgrims, especially the families and parish groups. In particular I would like to cordially greet the group of Canadian pilgrims who have come to Rome for the Holy Mass of Thanksgiving for the Canonization of François de Laval and Marie de l’Incarnation: may the two Saints arouse apostolic fervour in the heart of young Canadians.
I wish a happy Sunday to you all. I ask you to please pray for me. Have a good lunch! Arrivederci!
Acknowledgment: We thank the Vatican Publisher for allowing us to publish the Homilies 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.
Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time, First Reading:
Extracted from the prophet Isaiah 45:1, 4-6
Thus says the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus,
whom he has taken by his right hand to subdue nations before him
and strip the loins of kings, to force gateways before him
that their gates be closed no more:
‘It is for the sake of my servant Jacob, of Israel my chosen one,
that I have called you by your name, conferring a title though you do not know me.
I am the Lord, unrivalled; there is no other God besides me.
Though you do not know me, I arm you
that men may know from the rising to the setting of the sun
that, apart from me, all is nothing.’
Who is “Cyrus”?
Cyrus, the future liberator of the people of Judah exiled in Babylon, plays a prominent part in the Book of Consolation of prophet Isaiah (starting from Chapter 40). Yahweh establishes him, not to punish (like Sennacherib or Nebuchadnezzar), but to set free. Cyrus, who is called ‘the anointed of Yahweh’ in the above mentioned passage, is in any case a foreshadowing of the Messiah.
The conquest of Babylon by Cyrus dates from the autumn of 539; the first year of his reign (over the Babylonian empire) begins in Nisan (March – April) 538.
What did Cyrus do?
Extracted from the book of Ezra chapter 1: 1-6:
Cyrus Helps the Exiles to Return
1 In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah, the Lord moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and also to put it in writing:
2 “This is what Cyrus king of Persia says:
“‘The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah.
3 Any of his people among you may go up to Jerusalem in Judah and build the temple of the Lord, the God of Israel, the God who is in Jerusalem, and may their God be with them.
4 And in any locality where survivors may now be living, the people are to provide them with silver and gold, with goods and livestock, and with freewill offerings for the temple of God in Jerusalem.’”
5 Then the family heads of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and Levites—everyone whose heart God had moved—prepared to go up and build the house of the Lord in Jerusalem.
6 All their neighbours assisted them with articles of silver and gold, with goods and livestock, and with valuable gifts, in addition to all the freewill offerings.
9 November 2014
We are disappointed to hear in the News that 2 tourists who bought electronic goods from vendors of “Sim Lim Square”, Singapore found themselves being cheated.
For those vendors who are Tortfeasors, you know who you are and we are telling you that you do not fit into the Singapore culture. By dealing with dishonesty, you have caused damage to Singapore and the Singaporeans’ image. We thank the other Singaporeans who assisted the victims immediately on the aforesaid cases.
Let all Singaporeans, especially all other vendors from Sim Lim Square cooperate to expose similar kinds of fraud and to protect our tourists who come to us in peace and goodwill, we want you to enjoy your trips here.
Please contact CASE Consumer Hotline: 6 1000 315 (www.case.org.sg) or report to the Singapore Police at “999” if you need immediate help in Singapore.
We want to assure all Tourists that your rights would be well-protected in our law abiding and beautiful Garden City with the support of our helpful Singaporeans.
Recorded on 7 November 2014.