As the universal Church enters into the month of July, a time when Christians pay special homage to the Precious Blood of Jesus, Pope Francis explained that God chose the sign of blood “because no other sign is so eloquent to express the supreme love of life given for others.”
During an audience with members of the Families of the Precious Blood that took place on June 30 in Paul VI Hall, the pope spoke about the significance of devotion to the Blood of Christ.
“Since the beginnings of Christianity, the mystery of the Blood of Christ has fascinated many people. Your founding Saints too cultivated this devotion, placing it at the basis of your Constitutions, because they understood in the light of faith that the Blood of Christ is the source of salvation for the world. God chose the sign of blood, because no other sign is so eloquent to express the supreme love of life given for others. This donation is repeated in every Eucharistic celebration, in which alongside the Body of Christ, His precious blood is made present; the Blood of the new and eternal Covenant, shed for all for the redemption of sins (cf. Mt 26: 26).”
Meditating on the sacrificial death of Jesus leads us to perform works of mercy, he continued, and a desire to give ourselves to God others without counting the cost.
“Meditation of the mystery of the Blood of Christ shed on the cross for our redemption drives us, in particular, towards those who could be cured from their moral and physical sufferings, and who instead are left to languish on the margins of a society of consumption and indifference.”
He suggested three aspects that may help in their activity of spreading devotion to the Most Precious Blood which also apply to everyone.
First, the courage of truth. “It is important to be brave people, build courageous communities that are not afraid to stand up to affirm the values of the Gospel and the truth about the world and man,” the pope explained. “It is a matter of speaking plainly and not turning away in the face of attacks on the value of human life from conception to its natural end, on the dignity of the human person; before social ills, and before the various forms of poverty.”
Second, pay attention to all, especially those most distant. “The recipients of the love and goodness of Jesus are all: neighbors, but above all those who are most distant,” the pope said. “Therefore, we need to identify the most suitable ways of being able to bring together a multiplicity of people in homes, in social environments and on the street. To do this, you have before you the example of Jesus and of the disciples who walked the streets of Palestine announcing the Kingdom of God with the many signs of healing that confirmed the Word. Strive to be an image of a Church who walks the street, among the people, even running personal risks, sharing the joys and hardships of those you meet.”
Third, develop the ability to fascinate and communicate. “The Gospel and the Holy Spirit evoke words and gestures that inflame hearts and help them to open up to God and to others. For this ministry of the Word, we can draw inspiration from the attitude with which Jesus dialogued with people so as to reveal His mystery to all, to fascinate ordinary people with lofty and demanding teachings. The strength of this attitude is hidden in “the way Jesus looked at people, seeing beyond their weaknesses and failings: ‘Fear not little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom’ (Lk 12: 32 )”
He added: “Imitating the style with which Jesus preached, He helps us to approach others by making them perceive God’s tenderness. I think we are living in a time in which it is necessary to bring about the revolution of tenderness.”
Let us pay special homage to the Precious Blood of Jesus during this month so that we will be inspired and empowered to bring about a “revolution of tenderness” in our homes and communities!
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