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Pope Francis’ first audience!

Habemus Papam!

Today our freshly elected Pope Francis delivers his first general audience.  As per usual, is is a reflection on Holy Week.  Here is the excerpt for the English speaking audience:

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

On Palm Sunday we began Holy Week, the heart of the liturgical year, when we commemorate the great events that express most powerfully God’s loving plan for all men and women.  Jesus enters Jerusalem in order to give himself completely.  He gives us his body and his blood, and promises to remain with us always.  He freely hands himself over to death in obedience to the Father’s will, and in this way shows how much he loves us.  We are called to follow in his footsteps.  Holy Week challenges us to step outside ourselves so as to attend to the needs of others: those who long for a sympathetic ear, those in need of comfort or help.  We should not simply remain in our own secure world, that of the ninety-nine sheep who never strayed from the fold, but we should go out, with Christ, in search of the one lost sheep, however far it may have wandered.  Holy Week is not so much a time of sorrow, but rather a time to enter into Christ’s way of thinking and acting.  It is a time of grace given us by the Lord so that we can move beyond a dull or mechanical way of living our faith, and instead open the doors of our hearts, our lives, our parishes, our movements or associations, going out in search of others so as to bring them the light and the joy of our faith in Christ.

Radio Vaticana has their English translation of the entire audience.  As usual, the full text will probably show up on the Vatican website next week.

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