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Pope Francis opens Rome Diocesan Convention 2013

Vatican City, 18 June 2013: The revolutions of history have changed the political and economic conditions, but none of them has really changed the heart of man. The real revolution, the one that transforms the life, Jesus Christ has accomplished through His Resurrection, said Pope Francis to the participants in the pastoral convention of the Rome diocese on Monday evening, at the opening of the event. In recent years, the annual meeting between the bishop of Rome and the leaders of pastoral, catechetical and outreach initiatives in the city has taken place in the cathedral Basilica of St John Lateran. On Monday evening, however, the venue was changed to the Paul VI audience hall in Vatican City.
The transformative, revolutionary power of grace, especially baptismal grace, and the need to renew faith formation in order to tap that power, were the focal points of the first part of the Pontiff’s remarks, which traced a broad overview of the pastoral focus of the diocese through the past year. We are no longer slaves of the Law: we are free because Jesus Christ has made us free, has given us the freedom, the freedom of the children of God, that we live under grace. This is a treasure, added the Pope.

Later, Pope Francis turned to the theme of spiritual discipline, patience and zeal for the Gospel – to carry the Gospel into the suburbs and outskirts of the city, into the hearts of those who live without hope. “We must go out to reach the flesh of the Lord who suffers wherever and in whatever circumstances the suffering one happens to be,” he exhorted them.
We, the disciples of the crucified, we can refuse to go to those places where nobody wants to go for fear of compromising and the judgment of others, and so deny our brothers preaching the Word of God? Gratuity: we received this gratuity, this grace, free of charge, and we must give it, for free. And this is what I want to tell you at the end. Do not be afraid. Do not be afraid of love, love of God, our Father. Do not be afraid to receive the grace of Jesus Christ, do not be afraid of our freedom that is given by the grace of Jesus Christ, as Paul said, "you are not under law but under grace." Do not be afraid of grace, not being afraid to come out of ourselves, do not be afraid to get out of our Christian communities to go to find those 99 who are not at home, he added. Source: VR Sedoc


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