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Pope Francis: Sunday Angelus

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2014-02-16 Vatican Radio

 (Vatican Radio) Pope Francis prayed the Angelus with the faithful in St Peter’s Square this Sunday. Bright sunshine and unseasonable warmth in the air encouraged 50 thousand people to gather beneath the window to the Papal apartments in the Apostolic Palace. Ahead of the traditional prayer of Marian devotion, they heard the Holy Father speak of the day’s Gospel reading, taken from that according to St. Matthew (5:17-37). In that Gospel reading, Our Lord is delivering his Sermon on the Mount – specifically, the part of the sermon in which Jesus addresses the question of His relationship to the Law of Moses. “Jesus does not want to erase the commandments that the Lord gave through Moses,” explained Pope Francis. “Rather,” he continued, “He desires to bring them to their fulfilment – and He immediately adds that this ‘fulfillment’ of the Law requires a higher justice, a more authentic observance. The Holy Father went on to note the words of Jesus to His disciples: “Unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” The Pope explained that Jesus does not give importance to rote observance and outward conduct. “He goes to the root of the law, focusing above all on the intention and therefore on the human heart,” which is the source of our actions for good and for evil. Pope Francis said that profound motivations, the expression of a hidden wisdom, of God’s wisdom, are needed in order for us to act well – not merely good rules and legal norms. “The Wisdom of God,” he said, “can be received through the Holy Spirit: and we, through faith in Christ, open ourselves to the action of the Spirit, which enables us to live God’s love.” The Holy Father concluded, saying, “In light of this teaching of Christ, every precept reveals its full meaning as a requirement of love, and all [precepts] come together in the greatest commandment: love God with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself.”
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