Pope Francis has urged all believers to respond to “the logic of waste and demographic downturn” by upholding and promoting a “culture of life”.
Speaking to the crowds gathered in St. Peter’s Square after the recitation of the Angelus prayer, the Pope marked Sunday’s celebration in Italy of the “Day for Life” with a call to join Italian Bishops in promoting a culture of life in which “no one is left alone”.
“Each life is sacred” Pope Francis said, “let’s pray together for those children who risk a pregnancy termination and for those who are nearing the end of life.”
“May no one, he continued, be left alone and may love defend the sense of life.”
Quoting the words of Mother Teresa of Calcutta: “Life is beauty, admire it; Life is life, fight for it” he said that is true for the child about to be born and for the person who is about to die: “Every life is sacred!”
During his catechesis, the Pope referred to the Gospel reading of the day that tells of the Sermon on the Mount and urged Christians to preserve society from corruption and gossip.
“We are the salt of the earth” he said, and the mission of Christians in society is to give flavor to life with faith and with the love that Christ has given us “rejecting the polluting germs of selfishness, envy and gossip.”
“These germs, the Pope said, ruin the texture of our communities that must be places of welcome, solidarity and reconciliation”.
To be able to fulfill this mission, he continued, “it is necessary to be free from the corrupting degeneration of worldly influences that are contrary to Christ and to the Gospel.”
Thus, Francis invited the faithful never to let down their guard but to be purified continuously regenerating the spirit of the Gospel every day in our lives.
“We Christians, he said, are recognizable as true disciples of Christ in our actions” he said.
The Pope pointed out that it is above all our behavior, for the better or for the worse, which leaves a mark in others.
“Thanks to the light of faith, the gift that we have received, we have the duty and the responsibility not to keep it to ourselves as if it were our property, but to allow it to shine in the world and give it to others through works of charity” he said.
“The world, he said, is much in need of the light of the Gospel that transforms, heals and gives salvation to he who embraces it.”
When we give of the light of our faith, Pope Francis said, we do not extinguish it, but strengthen it, but, he warned, it must be nurtured with love and with works of charity.