May 29, 2013

Vatican Information Service Bulletin

The following, in it's entirety, is a copyrighted transcript of the Vatican Information Service.

Summary

- GENERAL AUDIENCE: THE CHURCH IS GOD'S CALL TO BE PART OF HIS FAMILY

- GIVE THANKS TO GOD FOR YOUR PARENTS

- POPE'S PRAYER INTENTIONS FOR JUNE

- AUDIENCE

- NOTICE

 

GENERAL AUDIENCE: THE CHURCH IS GOD'S CALL TO BE PART OF HIS FAMILY

Vatican City, 29 May 2013 (VIS) – The mystery of the Church will be the theme of Pope Francis' new cycle of catechesis during the Wednesday general audiences. “A mystery,” he said, “that we all live and in which we all take part.” The Pope, who will discuss this topic in light of Vatican Council II texts, began from the parable of the prodigal son that illustrates God's plan for humanity.

In spite of the rain that suddenly fell on Rome this morning, Francis followed his custom of winding through St. Peter's Square in the Popemobile, greeting the tens of thousands of people present and, before beginning his catechesis, he joked with them, praising their endurance in spite of the inclement weather.

In his teaching, the Holy Father explained that God's plan is “to make of all of us one family of his children, [a family] in which each one feels close to and loved by him … feels the warmth of being the family of God. The Church—not an organization born out of an agreement between some persons but … the work of God, born of this love and progressively built in history—has her origin in this great plan.”

The Church, the pontiff explained, “is born of God's desire to call all men and women to communion with him, to friendship with him, even further, to participate as his children in his very divinity. The word 'Church' itself, from the Greek 'ekklesia', means 'convocation'. God calls us, urges us to leave selfishness behind, the tendency to be wrapped up in oneself, and calls us to be part of his family. This call has its origins in creation itself. God created us so that we might live a relationship of profound friendship with him and, when sin cut off that relationship with him, with others, and with creation, God did not abandon us. The entire story of salvation is the story of God seeking humans, offering us his love, gathering us to him. He called Abraham to be the father of many; He chose the people of Israel to forge a covenant that embraces all peoples; and he sent, in the fullness of time, his Son so that his plan of love and salvation might be fulfilled in a new and eternal covenant with all of humanity.”

“When we read the Gospel we see that Jesus gathers a small community around him that welcomes his word, follows it, shares his journey, becomes his family. And with this community He prepares and builds his Church.” It is a Church whose origin lies in the “supreme act of love on the Cross, in Jesus' opened side from which flow blood and water, symbol of the Sacraments of the Eucharist and Baptism. In the family of God, in the Church, the lifeblood is God's love that is made concrete in loving him and others, all, without distinction or limits. The Church is a family in which we love and are loved.” The Church is made manifest, as on Pentecost, “when the gift of the Holy Spirit fills the hearts of the Apostles and compels them to go out and begin the journey to proclaim the Gospel, to spread God's love.”

The Pope observed that, even today, “there are some who say: 'Christ yes, the Church no'. Like those who say: 'I believe in God, but not in the priests'. But it is precisely the Church that brings us Christ and brings us to God. The Church is the great family of the children of God. Of course it also has human aspects. there are defects, imperfections, and sins in those who make her up, pastors and faithful. Even the Pope has them, and many. But what is beautiful is that, when we realize that we are sinners we encounter the mercy of God who always forgives. He never forgets us. He gathers us up in his love of forgiveness and mercy. Some say that sin is an offence against God, but it is also an opportunity for the humility to realize that there is something better: God's mercy. Let's think about this.”

“How much do I love the Church? Do I pray for her? Do I feel part of the family of the Church? What am I doing to make it a community in which everyone feels welcomed and understood, feels God's mercy and love that renews life? Faith is a gift and an act that has to do with us personally, but God calls us to live our faith together, as a family, as the Church.”

“Let us ask the Lord, particularly in this Year of Faith, that our communities, that all the Church, be ever more truly families that live and bring the warmth of God,” the Holy Father concluded.

 

GIVE THANKS TO GOD FOR YOUR PARENTS

Vatican City, 29 May 2013 (VIS) – At the end of today's general audience, as he does every Wednesday, the Holy Father greeted the pilgrims of the various language groups in St. Peter's Square.

Pope Francis addressed a few words to the youth who will be gathering this Saturday, 1 June, at Lednica Lake in Poland for the yearly commemoration of the first Baptism of the Polish people in 966.

“Remember that God is our Father,” the Pope said to them. “He created us, bestowed our talents on each of us, and guides us along the path of life. He is with us in spite of our weaknesses, our sins, and our omissions. … He is the model of all parenthood, even earthly paternity.”

“”Don't forget,” he urged them, “to thank God for your parents … even if your relationship might not be so good. Parenthood is a gift from God and it is a great responsibility to give new life, which is an unrepeatable image of God. Don't be afraid to be parents. … Also, be open to being spiritual mothers and fathers.”

 

POPE'S PRAYER INTENTIONS FOR JUNE

Vatican City, 31 May 2013 (VIS) - The Pope's general prayer intention for June is: “That a culture of dialogue, listening, and mutual respect may prevail among peoples.”

His mission intention is: “That where secularization is strongest, Christian communities may effectively promote a new evangelization.”

 

AUDIENCE

Vatican City, 29 May 2013 (VIS) – This afternoon the Holy Father received Cardinal William Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, DC, USA, in audience.

 

NOTICE

Vatican City, 29 May 2013 (VIS) - No VIS bulletin will be transmitted tomorrow, Solemnity of Corpus Christi and a holiday in the Vatican. Service will resume on Friday 31 May.

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