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Monday, October 13, 2014

Angelus: respond to the Lord's invitation with witness to charity

Vatican City, 11 October 2014 (VIS) – Today at midday, the Holy Father appeared at the window of his study in the Vatican Apostolic Palace to pray the Angelus with the faithful and pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square. Before the Marian prayer, Pope Francis commented on the day's reading from the Gospel of St. Matthew, in which God, represented by a king, gives an invitation to participate in a wedding banquet; however, none of those invited choose to attend, and some demonstrate indifference or even annoyance. The Pope first remarked on the three characteristics of the invitation: gratuitousness, amplitude, and universality. “God is good to us”, he said. “He freely offers us His friendship. He freely offers His joy and salvation. But very often we do not welcome His gifts. We prioritise our material concerns, our own interests, and even when the Lord calls us, many times it is as if this irritates us”.

He continued, “Some of those invited even mistreat and kill the servants who bring the invitation. But despite the lack of response from those invited, God's project is not interrupted. Faced with rejection from those He invites first, he is not discouraged and does not cancel the feast, but instead extends the invitation again, this time expanding it beyond reasonable limits, sending His servants to the squares and crossroads to gather together all the people they meet”.

“God's goodness has no limits, and does not discriminate against anyone. This is why the banquet of the gifts of the Lord is universal. It is universal for everyone. He gives everyone the opportunity to respond to His invitation, to His call; no-one has the right to feel privileged or to claim exclusivity”. He concluded, “The goodness of God does not have limits and does not discriminate against anyone. We are all called upon to expand the Church to the dimensions of the Kingdom of God. There is only one condition: put on the wedding garment: that is, bear concrete witness to charity towards God and neighbour”.

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