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Sunday, June 11, 2017

Angelus for the Trinity

At noon today (Rome time), the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, the Holy Father, Pope Francis appeared at the window of his study in the Vatican Apostolic Palace to recite the Angelus with the faithful and with pilgrims gathered in Saint Peter's Square.

Greetings of the Holy Father, Pope Francis
prior to the recitation of the Angelus

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

The biblical readings for today, the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity, help us to enter into the mystery of God's identity.  The second reading presents the initial words of Saint Paul addressed to the community in Corinth: The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you (2 Cor 13:13).  This blessing - as we call it - offered by the Apostle is the fruit of his personal experience of God's love, the love that the risen Christ revealed to him, love that transformed his life and inspired him to share the gospel with other people.  Based on his experience of grace, Paul exhorts Christians with these words: Be joyous, work toward perfection, be courageous in giving of yourselves to others ... live in peace (2 Cor 13:11).  The Christian community, even with all its human limits, can become a reflection of the Trinity's communion, its goodness, its beauty.  But this - as Paul himself bears witness - is seen in the shadow of the experience of God's mercy and forgiveness.

This is what happened to the Jews as they journeyed through the exodus.  When the people broke the covenant, God presented himself to Moses in a cloud and renewed the pact, proclaiming his own name and his significance.  He said: The Lord, the merciful and gracious God, slow to anger and rich in love and faithfulness (Es 34:6).  This name reveals the fact that God is not far away from us and closed in upon himself, but rather He is Life itself and wants to communicate with us, he is open, he is Love that redeems us from infidelity.  God is merciful, gracious and rich in grace because he offers himself to us in order to fill us with his grace, to make up for our shortcomings, to forgive our mistakes, to set us once more on the path of justice and truth.  This revelation of God came to its perfection in the New Testament, in the word of Christ and in his mission of salvation.  Jesus showed himself to be the face of God, one in substance and a Trinity of persons; God is entirely and only Love, in a relationship that exists in all that he creates, redeems and sanctifies: Father and Son and Holy Spirit.

Today's gospel places on the stage the person of Nicodemus who, despite the fact that he occupied an important place in the religious and the civil community of his time, did not hesitate to seek God.  He did not think: I have arrived, he never stopped looking for God; and now, he perceived the echo of God's voice in Jesus' words.  In the nighttime dialogue he had with the Nazarene, Nicodemus finally understood the fact that he was already sought after by God and that God was waiting for him, in order for God to personally love him.  God is always the first to seek us, God is always the first to wait for us, God is always the first to love us.  He is like the almond flower; the Prophet says: It is the first to flower (cf Jer 1:11-12).  In fact, this is what Jesus says: God so loved the world that he gave his Son, his only begotten Son, so that all who believe in him might not perish, but might have eternal life (Jn 3:16).  What is this eternal life?  It is the freely-offered love of the Father that Jesus gave us on the cross, offering his life for our salvation.  This love, through the action of the Holy Spirit shines a new light over all the earth and into every human heart that welcomes it; a light that reveals dark corners, the hardness of heart that prevents us from bearing the good fruit of charity and mercy.

May the Virgin Mary help us to always enter more and more, with all that we are, into the communion of the Trinity, in order to live and to bear witness to the love that gives meaning to our existence.

After the recitation of the Angelus, the Holy Father continued:

Dear brothers and sisters,

Yesterday, at La Spezia, Itala Mela was proclaimed Blessed.  She grew up in a family that was distanced from the faith; in her youth, she professed atheism, but was later converted by an intense spiritual experience.  She devoted herself to university studies, became a Benedictine Oblate and embarked on a mystical journey centred on the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity, which we celebrate in a special way today.  The witness of this new Blessed encourages us, during our day to day living, to turn our thoughts to God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit who is alive in the cell of our hearts.

I greet all of you, dear Romans and pilgrims: parish groups, families, associations.  In particular, I greet the faithful who have come from Montpellier, from Corsica and from Malta; and from Italy, the faithful from Padua and from Norbello ... and the young people from Sassuolo.

A special thought for the Bolivian community here in Rome who are celebrating the Virgin of Copacabana.

And to all of you, I wish a happy Sunday.  Please, don't forget to pray for me.  Enjoy your lunch and good bye!
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