Pope Francis: Audience reflection on celebration, work and prayer

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Pope Francis held his weekly General Audience on Wednesday morning in the Paul VI Hall. The Holy Father dedicated his catechetical reflection once again to the family, opening a new phase in the series of reflections on the family, to three specific facets of family life: celebration, work and prayer.

 

“It is God himself who teaches us the importance of dedicating time to contemplating and enjoying the fruits of our labours, not only in our employment or profession, but through every action by which we as men and women cooperate in God’s creative work, even in times of difficulty,” said Pope Francis. The Pope went on to note that, even in the workplace, we celebrate – a birthday, a marriage, a new baby, a farewell or a welcome, and that true moments of celebration make us pause from our work, because they remind us that we are made in the image and likeness of God, who is not a slave to work, but the Lord of work. “So,” he said, “we must never be slaves to work but rather its master.” Nevertheless, “We know that millions of men and women, even children, are slaves to work.  The obsession with economic profit and technical efficiency puts the human rhythms of life at risk,” he continued.


Pope Francis concluded his reflection with a focus on the need to recover attunement to the rhythms of life, which are found most especially in the sense of the sacred that at once draws to and flows from Sunday, the day of rest, and its centerpiece, the Eucharistic celebration. “Moments of rest, especially on Sunday, are sacred because in them we find God,” said Pope Francis, adding that the Sunday Eucharist brings to our celebrations every grace of Jesus Christ: his presence, his love and his sacrifice; his forming us into a community, and his way of being with us. “Everything is transfigured by his grace: work, family, the joys and trials of each day, even our sufferings and death,” he continued.


Pope Francis concluded with a prayer: “May we always recognize the family as the privileged place to understand, guide and sustain the gifts which arise from our celebrations, especially the Sunday Eucharist.”


Below, please find the full text of the official English-language summary of the Pope’s reflection, read after the Holy Father delivered the main catechesis in Italian

 

We begin now a series of catecheses on three facets of family life: celebration, work and prayer.  Let us turn first to celebrations which, as we see from the Story of Creation, are the invention of God, who on the seventh day rested from his work.  It is God himself who teaches us the importance of dedicating time to contemplating and enjoying the fruits of our labours, not only in our employment or profession, but through every action by which we as men and women cooperate in God’s creative work, even in times of difficulty.  In the workplace too, we celebrate – a birthday, a marriage, a new baby, a farewell or a welcome.  True moments of celebration make us pause from our work, because they remind us that we are made in the image and likeness of God, who is not a slave to work, but the Lord of work!  And so we must never be slaves to work but rather its master!  Yet we know that millions of men and women, even children, are slaves to work.  The obsession with economic profit and technical efficiency puts the human rhythms of life at risk.  Moments of rest, especially on Sunday, are sacred because in them we find God.  The Sunday Eucharist brings to our celebrations every grace of Jesus Christ: his presence, his love and his sacrifice; his forming us into a community, and his way of being with us.  Everything is transfigured by his grace: work, family, the joys and trials of each day, even our sufferings and death.  May we always recognize the family as the privileged place to understand, guide and sustain the gifts which arise from our celebrations, especially the Sunday Eucharist.    


(from Vatican Radio)

Source: news.va (Aug. 12, 2015)