During the Angelus, Pope Francis called on everyone to say "my Church", not "with a sense of exclusive belonging, but with inclusive love". Peter and Paul "call upon us to rediscover the joy of being brothers and sisters in the Church". The pontiff urged the faithful to “recognise others’ gifts without malice or envy.” He also greeted pilgrims from Vietnam.
Vatican City (AsiaNews) – In his reflection before the Angelus on the solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, Pope Francis focused "on the possessive adjective" with which Jesus expressed his affection for the Church, namely us. As he did one day with Peter, Christ today speaks to us about "my Church".
"For the Lord we are not a group of believers or a religious organisation, we are his bride. He looks at his Church with tenderness, he loves her with absolute fidelity, despite our mistakes and betrayals. As he told Peter one day, today he tells us, ‘my Church’.
"We too can repeat it: my Church. We do not say this with a sense of exclusive belonging, but with inclusive love. Not to differentiate ourselves from others, but to learn the beauty of being with others, because Jesus wants us united and open. The Church, in fact, is not "mine" because she responds to my self, to my desires, but because I pour my affection into it. She is mine to take care of it, so that, like the Apostles in the icon, I too can support it. How? With brotherly love."
Peter and Paul, Francis went on to say, "held conflicting opinions and frank discussions (cf. Gal 2:11 ff.). But what united them was infinitely greater: Jesus was the Lord of both, together they said "my Lord" to Him who said "my Church". Brothers in faith, they call upon us to rediscover the joy of being brothers and sisters in the Church. On this feast day, which unites two such different Apostles, it would be nice to say: ‘Thank you Lord, for that person other than me: That is a gift for my Church’.”
“It is good to appreciate others’ qualities, to recognise others’ gifts without malice or envy. Envy causes inner bitterness; it is vinegar poured over the heart. It embitters life. How nice it is to know that we belong to each other, because we share the same faith, the same love, the same hope, the same Lord."
"At the end of the Gospel Jesus told Peter: ‘Feed my sheep’ (Jn 21:17). He spoke about us and said my sheep, with the same tenderness with which he said my Church. This is the affection that builds the Church. Today, through the intercession of the Apostles, we can ask for the grace of loving our Church. We can ask for eyes that know how to see brothers and sisters in her, a heart that knows how to welcome others with the tender love that Jesus has for us. And we ask for the strength to pray for those who do not think like us: pray and love, do not talk badly, even behind their backs. May Our Lady, who brought harmony among the Apostles and prayed with them (cf. Acts 1:14), look after us as brothers and sisters in the Church."
After the Marian prayer, the pontiff greeted Roman pilgrims, who today celebrate their two patron saints. He urged them to "react with a civic sense to the signs of moral and material degradation that unfortunately also occur in Rome".
After greeting the ecumenical delegation from the Patriarch of Constantinople, present in Rome for the feast of the two apostles, Francis greeted the faithful from many parts of the world, who came here to hand over the pallium to their archbishops and metropolitans, in particular the pilgrims of Vietnam.