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Day: May 16, 2017

Pope: football champions must be good role models for young fans

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has urged football champions to be models of loyalty, honesty, harmony and humanity.
Speaking to football players, coaches and staff of the Italian football teams, Juventus and Lazio , who are about to dispute the final game of the national “Italy Cup” tournament, the Pope  reminded the football stars of their responsibility as public figures towards their fans, especially the young ones.
To the teams that he received in the Vatican, the Pope said: “I would like to reflect, briefly, on the importance of sport and consider the fascination it exerts and the impact of professional football on people, especially young people, towards whom you have a responsibility.” .
Pointing out that “champions” are role models for many young fans, the Pope said every match is a test in which they must show balance, self-control, and respect for rules and regulations.
“He, who through his behavior, puts all of this into practice, provides a good example for his followers, and this is what I wish for each of you: to be witnesses of loyalty, honesty, harmony and humanity” he said.
Unfortunately, the Pope said, episodes of violence do take place at imes in football stadiums, disrupting games and spoiling the healthy enjoyment of spectators.
My hope, Pope Francis said to the football champions, is that you may always play a part in keeping sport – sport – and thanks to the commitment of all, be promoters of harmony and cohesion between athletes and the rest of society.
Pope Francis concluded the audience wishing those present a “great match”.
Juventus and Lazio play the “Italy Cup” Final at Rome’s Olympic Stadium on Wednesday 17 May at 9pm local time. 
(from Vatican Radio)…

Pope: Jesus’ peace is real and not the world’s anesthetized peace

(Vatican Radio) True peace is not man-made but a gift of the Holy Spirit.  “A peace without a cross is not the peace of Jesus” for it is only the Lord who can give us peace amidst tribulations.  This was the central message of the homily of Pope Francis at Mass, Tuesday morning, in the chapel of the Casa Santa Marta residence in the Vatican. 
Developing his homily on the words of Jesus at the Supper in John’s Gospel, “I leave you peace, my peace I give you,” the Holy Father focused on the meaning of the peace given by the Lord.  The day’s reading from the Acts of the Apostles, he noted, speaks of the many tribulations that Paul and Barnabas experienced in their journeys to proclaim the Gospel. “Is this the peace that Jesus gives us?” the Pope asked, and immediately answered saying Jesus emphasizes that the peace He gives is not the one given by the world.
The world wants anesthetized peace to prevent us from seeing the Cross
“The peace that the world offers us,” the Pope said, “is a peace without tribulations. It offers us an artificial peace “reduced to “tranquility”.  It is a peace “that is only concerned about one’s affairs and one’s security, lacking in nothing,” a bit like the peace of the rich Dives in the parable of Lazarus, a tranquility that “shuts” oneself  without seeing “beyond”:
“The world teaches us the way to anesthetized peace: it anesthetizes us from seeing another reality of life: the Cross.  This is why Paul says that one must enter into the Kingdom of Heaven on the road with many tribulations. But is it possible to obtain peace amidst tribulation?  From our side, no; we are unable to make peace that is tranquility, a psychological peace, our peace, because tribulations are there, whether pain, illness or death.  But the peace that Jesus gives is a gift: it is a gift of the Holy Spirit; and this peace lasts through tribulations and beyond.  It’s not a sort of stoicism of the ‘fakir’. No. it’s something else.” 
God’s peace cannot be bought, without Cross is not real peace
According to Pope Francis, God’s peace is “a gift that keeps us going.” After granting peace to His disciples, Jesus suffers in the Garden of Olives and there “He offers everything to the will of the Father and suffers, but He does not lack God’s consolation”.  In fact, the Gospel, says that “an angel appeared to him from heaven to console him”:
“God’s peace is real peace, that enters the reality of life, that does not deny life; that is life. There is suffering, there are the sick people, there are many bad things, there are wars … but that peace within, which is a gift, is not lost, but goes ahead bearing the Cross and suffering.  Peace without the Cross is not the peace of Jesus: it is a peace that can be bought, that can make. But it does not last; it comes to an end. ”
Let’s ask for the grace of inner peace, a gift of the Holy Spirit
When I get angry, the Pope said, “I lose peace.” When my heart is “troubled,” “it is because I am not open to the peace of Jesus,” because I am unable to “bear life as it comes, with its crosses and sorrows that accompany it.”  Rather, we must be able to ask for the grace to ask the Lord for his peace:
“‘We must enter the Kingdom of God through many tribulations’. The grace of peace – of not losing that inner peace. Regarding this a saint said, ‘The life of the Christian is a journey between the persecutions of the world and the consolations of God’ (St. Augustine). May the Lord make us understand well what this peace is which He gives us with the Holy Spirit. ”
(from Vatican Radio)…

Pope sends telegram to President of France.

(Vatican Radio)
Pope Francis has sent a telegram to the new President of France, Emmanuel Macron.
The telegram began with the words “On the occasion of your investiture as the President of the Republic of France, I send you my very cordial wishes for the exercise of your high office, at the service of all your people.”
The message went on to say that the Pope prays that France always strives  to “build a more just and fraternal society, drawing on the rich diversity of moral traditions, of which Christianity is one.”
The Pope also highlighted those “In danger and at risk of being excluded” and said he prayed that France would continue to promote cooperation and solidarity amongst nations.
Before blessing the new president, the Pope also said he prayed “That France continues to promote the search for peace and the common good, respect for life and the defense and dignity of every person and all peoples, both in Europe and throughout the world.”  
(from Vatican Radio)…