Regina Coeli: “that you love one another as I have loved you”

The Vatican (Monday, 05-11-2015, Gaudium Press) – During this Sunday’s Regina Coeli, before thousands of faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square, the Pope commented on the day’s Gospel reading which “takes us back to the Cenacle, where we hear Jesus’ new commandment, ‘that you love one another as I have loved you'”. He affirmed, “these words, pronounced during the Last Supper, summarise all Jesus’ message; or rather, they summarise all He has gone. Jesus gave His life for His friends. Friends who had not understood Him, who had at the crucial moment abandoned, betrayed and denied Him. This shows us that He loves us even though we do not deserve His love: this is how Jesus loves us!”.

“In this way, Jesus shows us the road to follow Him, the path of love. His commandment is not a simple precept, … something abstract and external with regard to life. Christ’s commandment is new because He was the first to realise it, He gave flesh to it, and thus the law of love is written once and for all in the heart of man. … It is a concrete path, a road that leads us out of ourselves to reach out to others. Jesus showed us that God’s love is implemented in love for our neighbour. They both go together. The pages of the Gospel are full of this love: adults and children, the cultured and the simple, rich and poor, the righteous and sinners all find welcome in Christ’s heart”.

“This Word of the Lord calls upon us to love each other, even if we do not always understand each other, even if we do not always agree … but it is precisely there that we see Christian love. A love that is shown even if there are differences of opinion and character: but love is greater than these differences. And this is the love that Jesus has taught us. … This love of Christ, that the Holy Spirit pours into our hearts, works wonders every day in the Church and in the world. There are many large and small gestures that obey the Lord’s commandment”.

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“Little everyday gestures, gestures of closeness to an elderly person, a child, a sick person, someone who is alone or in difficulty, homeless, jobless, an immigrant, a refugee. … Thanks to the strength of this Word of Christ, every one of us can be close to the brother and the sister he encounters. Gestures of closeness, of proximity. In these gestures, the love that Christ has taught us is made manifest”.

Following the Regina Coeli, the Pope greeted, among others, the Italian State Forestry Corps, which is organising the national day for National Reserves for the rediscovery and respect for the beauty of creation; the participants in the conference, promoted by the Italian Episcopal Conference in support of high-quality schooling open to families; a delegation of women from “Komen Italia”, an association engaged in the fight against breast cancer; and those who have taken part in an initiative for life which took place in Rome this morning.

“And, speaking of life”, he added, “today in many countries we celebrate Mother’s Day: let us remember all mothers with gratitude and affection, and let us applaud them, all the mothers who are here in the Square. And with this applause, let us embrace all mothers, all our dear mothers: those who live with us physically, but also those who remain with us spiritually. May the Lord bless them all, and may Our Lady, to whom this month is dedicated, protect them”.

From Vatican Information Service

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