Reflecting on the day’s Gospel reading at Mass (Jn. 9:1-41), Pope Francis said during his March 26 Angelus address that the healing of the man born blind “causes us to reflect on our faith in Christ, the Son of God, and at the same time, also refers to Baptism.”
“We too have been ‘enlightened’ by Christ in Baptism, and then we are called to behave as children of light,” the Pope said to those gathered in St. Peter’s Square. “This requires a radical change in thinking, an ability to judge men and things according to a new scale of values, which comes from God.”The Pope added:
The Sacrament of Baptism, in fact, demands a choice, firm and decided, to live as children of light, and to walk in the light. What does it mean to walk in the light? It means first of all abandon the false ‘lights’: the cold and foolish light of prejudice against others … Another false ‘light,’ so seductive and unclear, is self-interest.
“May the Blessed Virgin, who first welcomed Jesus, light of the world, grant us the grace to welcome again this Lent the light of faith and rediscover the inestimable gift of Baptism,” Pope Francis concluded. “And that this new enlightenment may transform us, in attitudes and actions, starting from our poverty and littleness, to be bearers of a ray of Christ’s light.
Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, said in his Easter message that “Jesus waits for you and me, embracing us in our moments of greatest need and desire.”
“Mary thought she had discovered the Risen Lord, but it was the Risen Lord who discovered her,” he said. “Jesus calls out to each of us by name today as He did the very first Easter Sunday.’”
“Welcome the love of God into your life,” he continued. “Share it those around you, especially the most vulnerable of our sisters and brothers. In this way, we proclaim with Mary, ‘I have seen the Lord.’ Sing joyfully, ‘the Prince of life, who died, reigns immortal.’”
US President Donald Trump is reportedly seeking to meet with Pope Francis in May, when the American leader will be traveling to Italy to participate in a meeting of G7 industrial leaders.
Although no plans for a meeting have been announced—and Vatican spokesman Greg Burke said that no formal request for a papal audience had yet been received—White House officials confirmed that the President would ask for a meeting.
Archbishop Angelo Becciu, the Vatican’s deputy secretary of state, said: “Pope Francis is always ready to receive heads of state who request an audience.” In Washington, White House press secretary Sean Spice said: “Obviously, we’d be honored to have an audience with His Holiness.”
Speculation that President Trump would not seek to arrange an audience with the Pontiff had arisen in recent weeks, because the White House had not mentioned plans for a meeting and because of perceived tensions between the President and the Pontiff.