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Monday, January 18, 2016

Angelus: Jesus responds to the promises of joy that fill our hearts

Vatican City, 17 January 2016 (VIS) – Today, World Day of Migrants and Refugees, the Pope appeared at the window of his study in the Vatican Apostolic Palace to pray the Angelus with the faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square, including seven thousand people from various ethnic communities on a pilgrimage to pass through the Holy Door, and to hear the Holy Father speak.

Before the Marian prayer Francis spoke about the day's Gospel reading, which narrates Jesus' first miracle, the transformation of water into wine during the wedding party at Cana. "Miracles, then, are extraordinary signs that accompany the preaching of the Good News, and are intended to kindle or strengthen faith in Jesus. In the miracle at Cana, we can see an act of kindness by Jesus towards the newly-weds, a sign of God’s blessing of the marriage. The love between man and woman is therefore a good way to live the Gospel, that is, to walk with joy on the path of holiness".

"But the miracle of Cana is not just about the bride and groom", he added. "Every person is called to meet the Lord in his life. The Christian faith is a gift we receive in Baptism, which enables us to meet God. Faith passes through times of joy and sorrow, light and darkness, as in any authentic experience of love. The story of the wedding at Cana invites us to rediscover that Jesus does not come to us as a judge ready to condemn our sins, nor as a commander demanding we blindly follow His orders. He appears as the Saviour of humanity … as the One who answers the expectations and promises of joy that dwell in the heart of every one of us".

"Do I truly know the Lord in this way?" asked the Pope. "Do I feel Him next to me, in my life? … This means becoming aware that Jesus searches for us and invites us to make room for Him deep in our heart. And in this journey of faith, with Him, we are not alone: we have received the gift of the Blood of Christ. The large stone jars that Jesus filled with water to transform it into wine are a sign of the passage from the Old to the New Covenant: instead of water used for the purification ritual, we received the Blood of Jesus, poured in a sacramental way in the Eucharist and in a brutal way in the Passion and on the Cross. The Sacraments, which flow from the Paschal Mystery, imbue us with supernatural strength and allow us to enjoy God's infinite mercy".

"May the Virgin Mary, model of meditation on the words and gestures of the Lord, help us to rediscover faith with the beauty and richness of the Eucharist and the other Sacraments, which manifest God's faithful love for us. In this way we may deepen our love for the Lord Jesus, our Spouse, and go towards Him with lamps lit with our joyous faith, thus becoming His witnesses in the world", he concluded.

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