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Pope celebrates the Gospel of Life

17 June, 2013 - Addressing thousands of pro-life advocates from around the globe, Pope Francis at a Mass on Sunday stressed that the Gospel is the “way to freedom and life,” and that lifestyles that are “dictated by selfishness” lead to slavery and death. A special event in the current Year of Faith, the June 16 open-air Mass in Rome’s St. Peter’s Square was dedicated to the “Gospel of Life”, the title of the encyclical written by Pope John Paul II in 1995. Reflecting on the day’s scripture episodes about King David’s adultery and the anointing of Jesus by the adulterous woman, Pope Francis drew three lessons, first, the Bible reveals to us the Living God, the God who is life and the source of life; second, Jesus Christ bestows life and the Holy Spirit maintains us in life; and third, following God’s way leads to life, whereas following idols leads to death.” David had sinned, the Pope observed, but God brought life to David when he sincerely repented. By allowing Himself to be approached by the adulterous woman, Jesus demonstrates Himself the incarnation of the Living God, the one who brings life amid deeds of death, sin, selfishness and self-absorption. The life-giving power of God is also given through the Holy Spirit, Pope Francis said, reminding all that the Lord is the Living One and is merciful.
In his address during the midday “Angelus’ prayer, at the end of the Mass, Pope Francis recalled the Beatification of Oduardo Focherini, an Italian Catholic journalist who was killed for his faith in 1944, during World War II. The Pope described the 37-year old father of seven as “a witness to the Gospel of Life”, as he rescued many Jews from the Nazi persecution. He thanked all pro-life groups for their work, and also greeted hundreds of Harley Davidson motorcycle riders, who are celebrating 110 years of the U.S. company.


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