Pope Francis celebrates Mass at Madison Square Gardens in New York

1002512_630x354[By Christopher White from Catholic Voices USA] Francis celebrated Mass for over 20,000 New Yorkers at Madison Square Garden—one of the city’s most fabled sport and concert venues. He praised the diversity and vibrancy of city life but warned against those who are alone and forgotten—the nameless faces, the neglected, and the needy. He encouraged those in attendance to go out and share the good news of the gospel with joy and compassion for all.

“Big cities are a reminder of the hidden riches present in our world: in the diversity of its cultures, traditions and historical experiences. In the variety of its languages, costumes and cuisine. Big cities bring together all the different ways which we human beings have discovered to express the meaning of life, wherever we may be.”

“In big cities, beneath the roar of traffic, beneath “the rapid pace of change”, so many faces pass by unnoticed because they have no “right” to be there, no right to be part of the city.”

“Go out and proclaim, go out and show that God is in your midst as a merciful Father who himself goes out, morning and evening, to see if his son has returned home and, as soon as he sees him coming, runs out to embrace him.”

“Go out to others and share the good news that God, our Father, walks at our side. He frees us from anonymity, from a life of emptiness and selfishness, and brings us to the school of encounter. He removes us from the fray of competition and self-absorption, and he opens before us the path of peace. That peace which is born of accepting others, that peace which fills our hearts whenever we look upon those in need as our brothers and sisters.”

Click here for the full text of the homily.

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