Pope Francis: Say yes to life, not death

2013-06-16 Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) “Let us say ‘Yes’ to life and not death.” These were the words of Pope Francis during his homily on Sunday morning for Evangelium Vitae Day, a day celebrating the Gospel of Life. Listen to Ann Schneible's report:

An estimated 200,000 people were in Saint Peter’s Square for Holy Mass and the Angelus that followed with Pope Francis to mark the Year of Faith event dedicated to the Gospel of Life.

In his homily, the Pope noted how the Scriptures continuously tell us how God is the Living One who bestows life.

However, he said that “all too often, people do not choose life, they do not accept the ‘Gospel of Life’ but let themselves be led by ideologies and ways of thinking that block life, that do not respect life, because they are dictated by selfishness, self-interest, profit, power and pleasure, and not by love, by concern for the good of others.”

The Holy Father went on to say that people dream of building a new “Tower of Babel”, a city of man that is without God. They believe that the rejection of “God, the message of Christ, the Gospel of Life, will somehow lead to freedom, to complete human fulfillment.”

As a result,” the Pope continued, “the Living God is replaced by fleeting human idols which offer the intoxication of a flash of freedom, but in the end bring new forms of slavery and death.”

Concluding his homily, Pope Francis called on the faithful to “say ‘Yes’ to the God who is love, life and freedom, and who never disappoints.”

In his Angelus address following Mass, Pope Francis pointed to a perfect example of one who followed the Gospel of Life. He called attention to Saturday’s beatification of a husband and father of seven from Capri Italy who was killed in a concentration in 1944 for witnessing to his faith. Blessed Oduardo Focherini had saved countless lives from Nazi persecution before losing his own.

The Holy Father also greeted participants in a Harley-Davidson rally, marking 110 years of the manufacturer of the iconic American motorbike. Over 100,000 bikers had gathered in Rome this weekend; 1,400 of them had their bikes blessed by the Pope following the Angelus prayer.