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Pope Francis: audience, “we have the right to receive the Word of God, well proclaimed and well explained”

foto SIR/Marco Calvarese

“Good morning! The weather is a bit bad, but if the soul is joyful, it is always a good day. So good morning!”. This was Pope Francis’ off-the-cuff greeting to the 10,000 faithful gathered in St Peter’s Square despite the rain. “Today the audience will take place in two places”, Pope Francis began, always speaking off the cuff as he introduced his Audience: “A small group of sick people is in the Hall because of the weather, but we see each other: they see us on a big screen. Shall we greet them with an applause?”. “Listening to the biblical readings, extended in the homily, responds to the spiritual right of the people of God to receive the treasure of the Word of God in abundance”, the Pope said, as he began his catechesis on Ash Wednesday, focused on the Creed and the Universal Prayer. “Everyone who goes to Mass – he continued off the cuff -, has the right to receive in abundance the Word of God, proclaimed well and then explained well in the homily. It is a right. And when the Word of God is not read out well or preached with enthusiasm by the priest, the deacon or the bishop, then the right of the faithful is disregarded”. “We have the right to listen to the Word of God”, Pope Francis continued off the cuff. “The Lord speaks for everyone, pastors and faithful”, he explained: “He knocks at the hearts of those who participate in Mass, each one in their life situation, age, condition. He comforts us, calls us, and brings forth shoots of new and reconciled life”. “And this is through His Word”, the Pope remarked off the cuff: “His Word knocks at the heart and changes our hearts”.

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