POPE ASKS CATHOLICS TO WELCOME EVERYONE
By Carol Glatz
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The Holy Spirit invites the faithful to share in God's love and to make the church a loving home whose door is open to everyone, Pope Francis said.
"Our God is a communion of love: and this is how Jesus revealed him to us," the pope said before praying the Angelus with some 20,000 visitors gathered in St. Peter's Square June 4.
In his talk, Pope Francis reflected on the solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit celebrated that day.
He said this "God of communion" can be seen "through the image of a family gathered around the table, where life is shared."
The Holy Spirit invites the faithful "to sit at the table with God to share in his love," which 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," he said.
The pope asked that Catholics reflect on the following questions: "Do we bear witness to God-as-love? Or has God-as-love become in turn a concept" that no longer invigorates or generates life?
"If God is love, do our communities bear witness to this? Do they know how to love?" and "do we know how to love in the family? Do we keep the door open always, do we know how to welcome everyone — and I emphasize, everyone — to welcome them as brothers and sisters?" he asked.
"Do we offer everyone the food of God's forgiveness and Gospel joy?" he asked, or does the Christian community feel less like a home and more like an office or privileged place "where only the elect can enter?"
Pope Francis asked that the faithful "commit ourselves to bear witness to God-as-love, creating communion in his name" and living "the church as that home where one loves in a familiar way, to the glory of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit."