The Vatican

"The sign of the Cross is a reminder of how much God has loved us," Pope invites 

On the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity Sunday, the Holy Father once again assured his prayer for the victims of the train accident in India, and his closeness to the injured and their families, and prayed to the 'Virgo fidelis' for the "beloved and martyred Ukraine".

Francisco Otamendi-June 4, 2023-Reading time: 4 minutes

Pope Francis has encouraged the faithful in St. Peter's Square, on the occasion of the Angelus of today's Solemnity, Sunday of the Most Holy Trinity, to make "the simplest gesture, which we have learned since we were children: the sign of the Cross", because "by tracing the cross on our body we remember how much God has loved us, even to the point of giving his life for us", and "we repeat to ourselves that his love is like an embrace that never abandons us".

Before praying the Marian prayer of the Angelus from the window of the Apostolic Palace, the Holy Father began his meditation by recalling that today's feast, "solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, the Gospel is taken from the dialogue of Jesus with Nicodemus (cf. Jn 3:16-18). Nicodemus was a member of the Sanhedrin, impassioned by the mystery of God; he recognized in Jesus a divine teacher and, in secret, went to speak with him.

"Jesus listens to him and understands that he is a man who is in a process of searching", and "surprises him" by saying that "to enter the Kingdom of God it is necessary to be reborn; then he reveals to him the core of the mystery by telling him that God loved humanity so much that he sent his Son into the world. Jesus, the Son, speaks to us about the Father and his immense love. 

"Thinking God through the image of a family."

On the Sunday of the Holy TrinityThe Pope briefly plunged into the mystery. "Father and Son. It is a familiar image that, if we think about it, shatters our imaginary of God. Indeed, the word "God" suggests to us a singular, majestic and distant reality, while hearing about a Father and a Son brings us back home. Yes, we can think of God through the image of a family gathered at table, where life is shared. Moreover, the table, which is at the same time an altar, is a symbol with which certain icons represent the Trinity. It is an image that speaks to us of a God of communion.

"But it is not just an image, it is reality!" the Pope added. "It is reality because the Holy Spirit, the Spirit that the Father through Jesus has infused into our hearts (cf. Gal 4:6), makes us taste, makes us experience the presence of God: a close, compassionate and tender presence. The Holy Spirit does with us as Jesus did with Nicodemus: he introduces us into the mystery of the new birth, he reveals to us the heart of the Father and makes us sharers in the very life of God. 

"Sitting at table with God."

"The invitation he addresses to us, we could say, is to sit at table with God to share his love. This is what happens at every Mass, at the altar of the Eucharistic table, where Jesus offers himself to the Father and offers himself for us. Yes, brothers and sisters, our God is a communion of love: this is what Jesus has revealed to us", the Holy Father continued.  

The Pope then suggested what we can do to remember this communion of love: "The simplest gesture, which we learned as children: the sign of the cross. By tracing the cross on our body, we remember how much God has loved us, even to the point of giving his life for us; and we repeat to ourselves that his love envelops us completely, from top to bottom, from left to right, like an embrace that never leaves us. At the same time, we commit ourselves to bear witness to God-love, creating communion in his name". 

Finally, Francis asked a few questions, by way of an examination of conscience, as he usually does: "We can ask ourselves: do we witness to God-love, or has God-love become for us a concept, something that we have already heard but that no longer moves us and no longer provokes life? If God is love, do our communities bear witness to it? Do they know how to love? Are they like families? Do we always keep the door open, do we know how to love, do we always know how to love? welcome everyoneDo we offer everyone the food of God's forgiveness and the wine of evangelical joy? Do we breathe the air of a home, or are we more like an office or a reserved place where only the elect enter?"

In conclusion, before the Angelus, the Pope asked that "Mary help us to live the Church as a house in which we love in a familiar way, for the glory of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit".

Prayers for the victims in India and for Ukraine

After praying the Angelus, Pope Francis assured his "prayer for the many victims of the accident I am close to the injured and their families. I am close to the injured and their families. May our heavenly Father welcome the souls of the departed into his Kingdom". 

"I greet you, Romans and pilgrims from Italy and from many countries, especially the faithful from Villa Alemana (Chile) and the Confirmation children from Cork (Ireland)". The Pope also greeted groups from many Italian towns, some with Confirmation and First Communion children. 

The Pontiff greeted in a special way "the representatives of the Carabinieri, whom I thank for their daily closeness to the population," he said. "May the Virgo fidelis, your Patroness, protect you and your families," he said.

He also entrusted to the Virgin Mary, "Mother of solicitude, the peoples tried by the scourge of war, especially the beloved and martyred Ukraine". Finally, after greeting "the boys of the Immaculate Conception, who are good", he prayed: "do not forget to pray for me. Good Sunday, thank you, good lunch and goodbye".

The authorFrancisco Otamendi

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