Pope Benedict on Charity this Gaudete Sunday

The Holy Father paid a pastoral visit today to the Roman parish St. Mary of Graces at Casal Boccone. It was established only 26 years ago. During his visit he made this comment:

“Un altro punto su cui vorrei insistere è la testimonianza della carità, che deve caratterizzare la vostra vita di comunità. In questi anni voi l’avete vista crescere rapidamente anche nel numero dei suoi membri, ma avete visto anche giungere molte persone in difficoltà e in situazioni di disagio, che hanno bisogno di voi, del vostro aiuto materiale, ma anche e soprattutto della vostra fede e della vostra testimonianza di credenti. Fate in modo che il volto della vostra comunità possa sempre esprimere concretamente l’amore di Dio ricco di misericordia ed inviti ad accostarsi a Lui con fiducia.”

My English translation being:

Another point I would emphasize is the witness of charity, that ought to characterize your communal life. In these years you have seen also an rapid increase in your members, but you have added many persons in difficulty and in situations of hardship, who have need of you, of your material help, and also and above all of your faith and your witness as believers. Act in a way that the face of your community may always be able to concretely express the love of God who is rich in mercy and invites you to approach him with faith.”

My homily for this weekend focused on the recognition of the Lord in the lives of the poor, the unborn, the condemned, and the immigrant. All of our parishes have present within them many people who are in difficulty and hardship, and we are called to serve their needs as best we can, for they are the Lord in a distressing disguise.

The joy of Gaudete Sunday lay not only in knowing our Advent journey is half-completed, but in knowing that the Lord is already in our midst by his presence in the lives of the poor man and woman.

I was happy to see that I echoed the Holy Father’s comments on this Gaudete Sunday.

If you read Italian, you can read his entire address at: www.vatican.va/news_services/bulletin/news/28518.php?index=28518&lang=en


About Deacon Bob

Moderator: Deacon Bob Yerhot of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester, Minnesota.
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