Sunday, March 05, 2023

Pope at Angelus: Christians must share the glorious light of God's love

Pope at Angelus: God calls everyone, and calls always – Catholic Outlook

At the Sunday Angelus, Pope Francis explains how the Transfiguration of Jesus reveals the beauty and splendour of divine Love incarnate in Christ. He encourages us to recognize this luminous beauty of love, even when it bears the marks of the cross.

Speaking to the faithful gathered in a sun-filled Saint Peter's Square for the Angelus on Sunday, Pope Francis gave his customary reflections before leading the recitation of the Marian prayer.

He recalled the day's Gospel of the Transfiguration when Jesus revealed the glorious light of God's majesty and beauty shining on His face and clothing.

The disciples Peter, James and John witnessed this spectacular moment when Jesus reveals to them "the beauty and splendour of divine Love incarnate in Christ," the "perfect image of the Father" and "a foretaste of paradise."

The Face of Love

The Pope recalled how the awe and surprise the disciples experienced shook them, as the beauty of the Transfiguration overwhelmed them and brought about immense joy.

This experience marked a step in the disciples' preparation by Jesus when they would have to recognize this same beauty of boundless love when He would be crucified and His face disfigured.

Peter wished to prolong the wondrous Transfiguration experience, the Pope observed, but Jesus does not allow it, as there is a risk His light could be reduced to a "magical moment" or "passing sentiment." Instead, the experience grounds them in their faith, the reality of life, and the journey that must be embarked upon.

“Christ is the light that orients our journey like the pillar of fire for the people in the wilderness. Jesus’ beauty does not alienate his disciples from the reality of life, but gives them the strength to follow Him all the way to Jerusalem, all the way to the cross.”

Persevering in the journey

Pope Francis explained how the Gospel traces our own path as well and how essential it is to always look to Jesus on our journey "even when it is not easy to understand everything He says and does for us."

By doing so, we also learn to see God's beauty in the faces of family, friends, and colleagues who show their care for us in a variety of ways. 

“How many luminous faces, how many smiles, how many wrinkles, how many tears and scars reveal love around us! Let us learn to recognize them and to fill our hearts with them. And then let us set out in order to bring the light we have received to others as well, through concrete acts of love.”

The Pope encouraged everyone to commit to being more generous in our daily lives, "by loving, serving and forgiving with greater earnestness and willingness." He added that contemplation of the wonders of God and the face of the Lord must move and inspire us in the service of our brothers and sisters.

And recognizing the light of God's love in our own lives over the "false, artificial light" of our own idols requires effort, he pointed out, but we can start by opening our eyes to it with joy and gratitude by noticing it in those who love us. We can then grow more open to love and service.

“May Mary, who kept the light of her Son in her heart even in the darkness of Calvary, accompany us always on the way of love.”