At this Sunday’s Angelus Francis said the face of God is reflected in him and in all his brothers and sisters. “The whole law of God is summed up in love for God and neighbour”
At this Sunday’s Angelus Francis said the face of God is reflected in him and in all his brothers and sisters. “The whole law of God is summed up in love for God and neighbour”.
“In the midst of the dense forest of rules and regulations – the legalisms of yesterday and today – Jesus shines a ray of light that helps us to make out two faces: the face of the Father and that of our brother,” Pope Francis said at today’s Angelus. “Today’s Gospel reminds us that the whole law of God is summed up in love for God and neighbour.” The “novelty” of Christ’s teaching consists in the union of the two commandments – love of God and love ofneighbour – proving that they are inseparable and complementary, they are two sides of the same coin.”
Francis referred to Benedict XVI’s comment on this in his first encyclical Deus Caritas Est (Nos. 16-18). The Gospel does not hand us “two formulas or two precepts, but two faces, in fact only one face, the face of God reflected in the many faces, because in the face of every brother, especially the smallest, most fragile and helpless, of those in need is the very image of God.”
“We should ask ourselves when we encounter one of these brothers if we are able to recognize the face of God in him. Are we capable of this?” Francis said, addressing the legions of faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square to hear the Sunday prayer. “Remember this: love is the measure of faith,” Francis said speaking off the cuff. “How much do you love? What is your faith like? I believe as much as I love.” a visible sign that the Christian can show to witness God’s love to the world and to others, to his family, is the love of his brethren,” Francis observed. This is why, he explained, “the commandment of love of God and neighbour is the first, because it is not high on the list of the commandments. Jesus does not put it at the top, but at the center, it is the heart from which everything eradicates and to which everything returns.”
Francis recalled hos in the Old Testament, “being holy in the image of God who is holy, also involved taking care of those who are weaker, foreigners, orphans and widows; this was a duty.” Jesus, Francis said, “completes the law of the covenant, which He unites in himself, in his flesh, divinity and humanity, in a single mystery of love.”
Pope Francis that in the Gospel, “love is the measure of faith, and faith is the soul of love: we cannot separate the religious life – the life of piety – from that of service to our brothers and sisters – to those flesh-and-blood brothers and sisters we actually meet. We can no longer separate meeting God in prayer, in the Sacraments, from listening to the other, from being close to their lives, their wounds.”
Today Francis sent out greetings to Rome’s Peruvian community and remembered yesterday’s beatification in São Paulo, Brazil, of Mother Assunta Marchetti, Italian co-foundress of the Missionary Sisters of St. Charles Borromeo – Scalabrini. “She was a nun who gave exemplary service to the orphans of Italian immigrants, she saw Jesus present in the poor, orphans, the sick, the immigrant,” Francis said.