Pope Francis encourages Christians to be generous witnesses
By Fr. Benedict Mayaki, SJ
“As we prepare to celebrate the Ascension of the Lord, I invoke the peace and joy that come from the Risen Christ upon you and your families,” said Pope Francis, in his greeting to English-speaking listeners at the weekly General Audience.
The Holy Father encouraged Christians to be generous witnesses of the Risen Christ, knowing that He is always with us to sustain us. He reminds us that Jesus left us the command to “Go and teach all nations…teaching them to observe all that [He] commanded” (Matt 26: 19 – 20). The Pope then turned his thoughts towards the young, the elderly, the sick and newlyweds while addressing the Italian-speaking faithful.
Addressing the Spanish-speaking listeners, Pope Francis prayed that the Risen Jesus, with the power of His Holy Spirit, may make us “bearers of joy, and strengthen in us the hope and the certainty that love is stronger than death and that it always triumphs.”
Centenary of St. John Paul II
Pope Francis extended his heartfelt greetings to Polish-speaking listeners, as the Church continues to celebrate the 100thanniversary of the birth of Saint John Paul II.
He noted that the Polish saint was “a pastor of great faith who loved to entrust the Church and all of humanity to God in prayer.”
The Pope prayed that, like Saint John Paul II who chose “Totus Tuus” as his motto, we might turn to Our Lady in times of difficulty and ask for her intercession.
Month of Mary
Referring to May as the “Month of Mary”, the Holy Father encouraged us to pray the Rosary daily, in his address to the Portuguese-speaking faithful.
He prayed that we might learn from Our Lady to have a contemplative gaze in our daily lives.
God in creation
As the Church continues to mark the Laudato Si’ Week from 16 to 24 May, Pope Francis told the German-speaking faithful that we recognize the greatness of God in the wonder of creation.
“May joy in nature and praise of God help us to find fullness and inner peace,” prayed the Pope.