4-July-2014 -- ZENIT.org News Agency |

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Pope's Homily in Campobasso: Place Dignity of Human Person First, Without Exception

Stresses Importance of Service and Culture of Solidarity

By Deborah Castellano Lubov

CAMPOBASSO, July 05, 2014 (Zenit.org) - Pope Francis has urged the faithful to put the dignity of the human person before all things, saying every other interest is secondary.

The Pope made the comments in his homily at Mass in the old Romagnoli stadium of Campobasso, his second stop on a short, one-day pastoral visit to Italy's Molise region.

"It's necessary to put the dignity of the human person at the center of every perspective and every action," the Pope said. "Other interests, even if legitimate, are secondary."

Recalling the first reading, the Pontiff said the experience of Jacob and Joseph, told in the Old Testament, revealed two key aspects of life of the Church as a people who "serve God" and a people "who live in the freedom given to us by Him."

Serving God through service to others and spreading a culture of solidarity are needed, he said. When we serve, the Lord "frees us" from ambition and rivalry-which undermine unity and communion-as well as from "sadness," "fear," and "internal emptiness." Service has many forms, he noted, including prayer, proclaiming the Gospel and charity.

Speaking off the cuff, he especially warned against sadness. "Look, this sadness is dangerous because it casts us down. It casts us down. It's dangerous. Be careful," he said.

In our ordinary lives, Francis continued, all are called to charity: in the family, the parish, at work, and with neighbors. He added the main way it is manifested, however, is evangelization. The Church, whose example the faithful should follow, embodies this as she goes out "to meet situations of greatest need" and is "considerate toward the least and the excluded."

The Pope concluded by calling upon the Madonna of Freedom "to obtain for yourselves the joy of serving the Lord and to walk in the freedom that He has given us."

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On Zenit's Web page:

Full translation: http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/pope-francis-homily-at-mass-in-campobasso

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