Calling on Christians to express their faith in action, the Pope also turned to those who have yet to experience an encounter with Christ offering the gift of a pocket-sized Gospel in which “we can meet Jesus, listen to Him, and get to know Him”.
And commenting on the fact that 50 thousand copies of the Gospel were being distributed in the Square by 300 homeless people, the Pope said “this is a beautiful gesture” that Jesus approves: “those who are most needy are the ones who are giving us the Word of God”.
“Take it – he said – keep it in your pocket or in your handbag and read a passage a day. God’s word lights up our path. It will do you good!”
Reflecting on the reading for the Fifth Sunday of Lent, the Pope said that John tells of a group of Greeks of Jewish faith who came to Jerusalem to celebrate a feast day and said to Philip “We would like to see Jesus”. Francis pointed out that there were many people in the Holy city including High Priests, political leaders as well as ordinary citizens and people like those “Greeks” who were curious to get to know Jesus and to learn of his life.
And repeating the words “We would like to see Jesus”, Pope Francis said that there are many amongst us who would like to see Jesus, who are in search of his life-giving message. To them – he said – “there are three things we can offer: the Gospel, the crucifix and our witness”.
In the Gospel – the Pope said – we can meet Jesus and listen to his words; through the crucifix we have the tangible sign of His love for us when he died on the cross to save us; in being witnesses to Christianity we can express our faith in simple gestures of fraternal charity.
After the recitation of the Angelus prayer, Pope Francis thanked the people of Naples for the warm welcome he received during his pastoral visit to the city on Saturday.
And noting that today we mark World Water Day, the Pope said water is the most essential element of life and that the future of humanity depends on our capacity to protect water and to adopt correct water utilization policies.
Calling on the international community to monitor water policies so that the waters of the planet be adequately protected Francis also pointed out that water is a common good and that it must be accessible to all.