2011-02-20 12:58:44

Praying for our persecutors part of Christian witness, says Pope

“We are all called to love unconditionally, as today’s Gospel reminds us, and to place ourselves generously at the service of our neighbour”, said Pope Benedict Sunday. In his greeting to thousands of pilgrims and visitors to St Peter’s square for the Angelus prayer the Holy Father said “when we suffer for evil, persecution, injustice, let us avoid revenge, vengeance and hatred, and pray for our persecutors. Overcome evil with good. We entrust all adversity to God to achieve freedom and peace of mind”.

Pope Benedict dedicated his reflections before the Angelus prayer this week to the Sunday readings and Gospel. The "perfection" to which Jesus invites us to "live as children of God is actually doing his will" and Jesus himself tells us: "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven "(Mt 5.44 to 45). Whoever receives the Lord into their lives and loves him with all his heart is capable of a new beginning. He manages to carry out the will of God: to create a new form of life inspired by love and destined to eternity".

He said “The apostle Paul adds: "Do you not know that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?" (1 Cor 3:16). If we are really aware of this reality, and our lives are deeply molded by it, then our witness is clear, eloquent and effective. "

The Holy Father also looked ahead to Tuesday next, February 22nd, the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter: “To him, the first of the apostles, Christ himself entrusted the task of teacher and pastor for the spiritual guidance of the People of God, so that they may rise up to Heaven. I therefore urge all pastors to " assimilate that “new style of life” which was inaugurated by the Lord Jesus and taken up by the Apostles " (Letter Proclaiming Year for Priests)”.

Finally in greetings to English speaking pilgrims he noted “In particular I greet the young singers from the Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School in London. The Cardinal’s motto, “Amare et Servire”, is a beautiful expression of the Christian way of life”.Listen: RealAudioMP3

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