Here is a ZENIT translation of the address Pope Francis gave today before and after praying the midday Regina Coeli with those gathered in St. Peter’s Square.
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Before the Regina Coeli:
Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!
Today’s Gospel (Cf. John 14:15-21), continuation of last Sunday’s, takes us to that moving and dramatic moment, which is Jesus’ Last Supper with His disciples. John the Evangelist gathers from the Lord’s mouth and heart His last teachings, before His Passion and Death. Jesus promises His friends, in that sad, dark moment, that, after Him, they will receive “another Paraclete” (v. 16). This word means another “Advocate,” another Defender, another Consoler: “the Spirit of truth” (v. 17); and He adds” “I will not leave you desolate; I will come to you” (v. 18). These words transmit the joy of a new coming of Christ: He, risen and glorified, abides in the Father and, at the same time, comes to us in the Holy Spirit. And in this, His new coming, our union with Him and with the Father is revealed: “In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you” (v. 20).
Meditating on these words of Jesus, we perceive ourselves today with a sense of faith of being the People of God in communion with the Father and with Jesus through the Holy Spirit. In this mystery of communion the Church finds the inexhaustible source of her mission, which is realized through love. In today’s Gospel Jesus says: “He who has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me; and he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him” (v. 21). It is love that introduces us in knowledge of Jesus, thanks to the action of this “Advocate” that Jesus has sent, namely, the Holy Spirit. The Gospel’s greatest commandment is love of God and of our neighbor. The Lord calls us today to correspond generously to the evangelical call of love, putting God at the center of our life and dedicating ourselves to the service of brethren, especially those most in need of support and consolation.
If there is an attitude that is never easy, that is never taken for granted, including in a Christian community, it is in fact to be able to love, to love on the example of the Lord and with His grace. Sometimes the contrasts, pride, envies, divisions also leave a sign on the Church’s beautiful face. A community of Christians should live in Christ’s charity and, instead, it is in fact there that the Evil One “puts his paw” and we, sometimes, let ourselves be deceived, and those that pay the price are the spiritually weakest persons. How many of them – and you console some of them –, how many of them have distanced themselves because they do not feel welcomed, they do not feel understood, they do not feel loved. How many persons have distanced themselves, for instance, from some parishes or communities because of an environment of gossip, of jealousies, of envies that they have found there. For a Christian also, to be able to love is never a fact acquired once and for all. One must begin again every day; we must exercise ourselves so that our love for the brothers and sisters we encounter may become mature and purified of those limits and sins that render it partial, egoistic, sterile and unfaithful. Every day the art of loving must be learnt. Listen to this: every day the art of loving must be learnt; every day Christ’s school of patience must be followed, every day one must forgive and look at Jesus and this with the help of this “Advocate,” of this Consoler that Jesus has sent us who is the Holy Spirit.
May the Virgin Mary, perfect disciple of her Son and Lord, help us to be ever more docile to the Paraclete, the Spirit of truth, to learn every day to love one another as Jesus has loved us.
[Original text: Italian] [Translation by Virginia M. Forrester]
After the Regina Coeli
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Unfortunately, painful news is reaching us from the Central African Republic, which I bear in my heart, especially after my visit of November 2015. Armed clashes have caused numerous victims and displaced, and threatened the peace process. I am close to the population and to the Bishops and to all those that spend themselves for the good of the people and for peaceful coexistence. I pray for the deceased and wounded and I renew my appeal: may arms be silenced and good will to dialogue prevail, to give peace and development to the country.
Next May 24 we will all be united spiritually to the Catholic faithful of China, on the feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary “Help of Christians,” venerated in the Sheshan Shrine at Shanghai. To the Chinese Catholics I say: let us raise our gaze to Mary Our Mother, that she may help us to discern the Will of God regarding the concrete path of the Church in China and support us in accepting her plan of love with generosity. Mary encourages us to offer our personal contribution for communion among believers and for the harmony of the whole society. Let us not forget to witness the faith with prayer and with love, always keeping ourselves open to encounter and dialogue.
My warm greeting goes to you, faithful of Rome and pilgrims, in particular, to the Music Chapel of the Cathedral of Pamplona; to the group of the Sao Tomas College of Lisbon; to the faithful of Saint Charles’ Chapel of the Saint Simon’s Cross Hospital of Paris; to those of Torrent (Valencia, Spain), of Canada and of the United States of America, among whom some from the Island of Guam.
A special greeting goes to the Confirmation youngsters and the candidates for Confirmation of the diocese of Genoa: with God’s help I will come to visit your city next Saturday, as well as to the “ladybugs” of Frosinone and to the faithful of Saint Maria Goretti parish of Rome.
Dear brothers and sisters, I wish to announce that on Wednesday, June 28, I will hold a Consistory to appoint five new Cardinals. Their provenance from different parts of the world manifests the catholicity of the Church spread throughout the earth and the assignment of a title or a diakonia in the city expresses the Cardinals’ belonging to the diocese of Rome that, according to the noted expression of Saint Ignatius [of Antioch], presides in charity over all the Churches. And on Thursday, June 29, Solemnity of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, I will concelebrate Holy Mass with the new Cardinals, with the College of Cardinals, with the new Bishops, the Metropolitans, the Bishops and some presbyters.
Here is the name of the new Cardinals: Monsignor Jean Zerbo, Archbishop of Bamako, in Mali; Monsignor Juan Jose Omella, Archbishop of Barcelona, Spain; Monsignor Anders Arborelius, Bishop of Stockholm, Sweden; Monsignor Luis Marie-Ling Mangkhanekhoun, Titular Bishop of Acque Nuove di Proconsolare, Apostolic Vicar of Pakse, in Laos; Monsignor Gregorio Rosa Chavez, Titular Bishop of Mulli, Auxiliary of the Archdiocese of San Salvador, El Salvador.
We entrust the new Cardinals to the protection of Saints Peter and Paul, so that with the intercession of the Prince of the Apostles, they are genuine servants of ecclesial communion and with that of the Apostle to the Gentiles, are joyful heralds of the Gospel in the whole world and, with their testimony and their counsel, support me more intensely in my service as Bishop of Rome, universal Pastor of the Church.
I wish all a good Sunday. Please, do not forget to pray for me. Have a good lunch and see you soon!
[Original text: Italian] [Translation by Virginia M. Forrester]