By Justin McLellan
VATICAN CITY — The light and beauty of Christ is an invitation to recognize God’s love in life’s ordinary moments, Pope Francis said.
Speaking to some 25,000 visitors gathered to pray the Angelus in St. Peter’s Square March 5, the pope reflected on the day’s Gospel reading from St. Matthew of Jesus’ Transfiguration, in which he appears to the disciples in radiant glory.
The pope explained that witnessing the “light of holiness” radiated by Jesus is not a “magical moment” outside of time but is what gives the disciples “the strength to follow him to Jerusalem, to the cross.”
The Transfiguration, he said, is a call for the disciples “to recognize the same beauty in him when he will go up on the cross and his face will become disfigured.”
“The beauty of Christ does not alienate the disciples from the reality of life,” he said, “it always leads you forward; it doesn’t cause you to hide.”
In the same way, Pope Francis said Christians are called to recognize God’s beauty around them and radiate his love through their actions.
“So many luminous faces, smiles, wrinkles, so many tears and scars speak to the love around us,” said the pope. “Let us learn to recognize them and fill our hearts with them.”
He asked Christians “to bring to others the light we have received with concrete actions of love, diving into daily tasks with greater generosity, loving, serving and forgiving more passionately and willingly.”
Pope Francis then urged those present to reflect on how they remain open to recognizing God’s love around them and resist alienating themselves from their surroundings.