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Day: August 30, 2017

Pope at Audience: ‘Youthful, searching heart fans flame of love’

(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis at his Wednesday General Audience continued his catechesis on Christian hope, reflecting on the relationship between hope and memory and inviting all to have a youthful, searching heart.
Listen to Devin Watkins’ report:

Pope Francis invited the faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square on Wednesday to have a youthful, searching heart, one full of desire for life and happiness.
It is this restless heart, he said, which allows one to come to Jesus.
Reflecting on the call of the first disciples, the Pope said, “Jesus appears in the Gospels as an expert on the human heart.”
When two young men “with healthily restless” hearts come seeking the day after Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan, Jesus inflames their hearts.
“From here there comes that question of His that attempts to bring out the desire for life and happiness, which every young person carries within: ‘What are you seeking?’”, he said.
Pope Francis said young people “who seek nothing are not young, they are pensioners, they have aged before their time.”
Turning to the theme of vocations, the Holy Father said the first disciples found their call in meeting Jesus.
He said this encounter ignited a flame in their hearts, which transformed them immediately into missionaries.
Their story, the Pope said, reminds us of our own vocation.
“This page of the Gospel tells us that the first indicator is the joy of the encounter with Jesus. Marriage, consecrated life, priesthood: every true vocation begins with an encounter with Jesus that gives us a new joy and hope; and it leads us, even through hardships and difficulties, to an ever fuller encounter with Him – it grows greater, that encounter –and to the fullness of joy.”
Pope Francis advised the faithful to be like the Virgin Mary, who “keeps the flame of her love” for Jesus.
“Certainly, there are trials in life, there are moments when we need to keep going despite the cold and the counter winds, despite much bitterness. But Christians know the road that carries them to that sacred fire that has inflamed them once and for all.”
Finally, Pope Francis presented the faithful with a way to keep the flame of love alive in their hearts.
“Here, therefore, is a fundamental dynamic of Christian life: remembering Jesus… Remember Jesus, the fire of love with which one day we conceived of our life as a plan for good, and to revive our hope with this flame.”
(from Vatican Radio)…

Pope Francis: greetings for AFC Chapecoense

(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis  had special greetings on Wednesday for the players, coaches, and staff of Brazil’s  Chapecoense  soccer club, who were present at the weekly  General Audience .
“My desire for you is that you grow in the wisdom that comes from God,” said Pope Francis in greetings to Potruguese-speaking pilgrims, which included the soccer club-members, “in order that, having been made experts in the things of God, you might be able to communicate to others the sweetness of His love.”
Air tragedy
Chapecoense suffered tragedy on November 28 th , 2016, when the  LaMia Flight 2933  carrying the  club’s first team crashed en route from Bolivia to Colombia, killing all but three members of the squad. Two of the survivors, Jackson Follman and Alan Ruschel, were in attendance, and met with Pope Francis along with the other members of the club on the sidelines of the  Audience  on Wednesday.
Friendly match in spirit of solidarity
Chapecoense  is in Rome for a friendly against  A.S. Roma  at Olympic Stadium on Friday, organized to raise funds for the Brazilian club.
“This is a friendly organized for purposes of solidarity,”  A.S. Roma ’s ticketing manager, Carlo Feliziani, explained earlier this week to Radio Roma. “We hope our fans will come to the stadium, both to see the match and to help  Chapecoense  get back on their feet,” he continued. “Ticket prices will be very low,” he explained, “€10 for end-zone seats and €25 for more central seats.”
Kick-off  is scheduled for 20:45 on  Friday, September 1 st .
(from Vatican Radio)…

Sunday Gospel Sept. 3, 2017

(Vatican Radio) In this week’s edition of There’s More in the Sunday Gospel than Meets the Eye , Jill Bevilacqua and Seàn-Patrick Lovett bring us readings and reflections for the Twentysecond Sunday in Ordinary Time. Listen:

Gospel  – Mt 16: 21-27
Jesus began to show his disciples
that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer greatly
from the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes,
and be killed and on the third day be raised. 
Then Peter took Jesus aside and began to rebuke him,
“God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you.” 
He turned and said to Peter,
“Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me. 
You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.”

Then Jesus said to his disciples,
“Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself,
take up his cross, and follow me. 
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world
and forfeit his life? 
Or what can one give in exchange for his life? 
For the Son of Man will come with his angels in his Father’s glory,
and then he will repay all according to his conduct.”
(from Vatican Radio)…

Pope Francis: General Audience English summary

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis continued his catechesis on Christian hope at his Wednesday General Audience in St Peter’s Square.
Please find below the official English-language summary:
Dear Brothers and Sisters: I wish to reflect again on the relationship between hope and memory.  In the Gospel passage we have heard, Saint John shares with us the precious memory of when Jesus called the first disciples and asked them: “What do you seek?”  It is a question that he asks each of us in our own time.  Jesus recognizes that a young heart, and a healthy one at that, is a searching heart, full of a desire for life and happiness.  For the first disciples, this encounter was only the beginning of their relationship with Jesus and the living out of their vocation; it ignited a flame in their hearts, which transformed them into missionaries who always treasured the memory of that first encounter with Christ.  Their story reminds us how we discover our vocation.  Whether we are called to marriage, consecrated life or priesthood, our vocation finds its origin in our first encounter with Jesus.  It is that first spark which, even in the midst of trials, leads to an ever-deeper relationship with the Lord and which brings us hope and joy.  Let us treasure this flame of love that burns in our hearts, by recalling our first encounter with Christ.  May we be joyful disciples, who dream with God of a better world, and who share the reason for our hope with all whom we meet.
(from Vatican Radio)…