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Rome Reports

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Pope in Florence: The Church must be in tune with the highs and lows of everyday people

With crowds lining the streets, Pope Francis made his way to Florence's stadium in the popemobile. Inside, thousands of people gave the Pope a warm welcome.  He even played with all the attention a little bit, by encouraging the crowds even more.  Before starting Mass, the Pope walked into food bank that offers locals and immigrants a warm meal day in and day out.  In his homily, the Pope called on the Church to be in tune with all the highs and lows every day people face. Only through that connection, he said, can one speak to the heart and lead people to God.   POPE FRANCIS "Look at their daily experience: Work, family, health problems, traffic, school, health programs and so on... It's the only way to open their hearts and lead them to God.â?  Reflecting on the Gospel readings, the Pope pondered on the question Jesus asked His disciples: "Who do you say that I am?â? It's a question Jesus posed, he said, to understand His disciples more and to directly communicate with them.   POPE FRANCIS "The truth of faith, is a truth that scandalizes, because it calls on us to believe in Jesus, who despite being God, left everything, lowering Himself to a servant, all the way to dying on the Cross.â?  With an impressive choir singing throughout the Mass, the Pope added that the Church, must go against the current, where society attempts to limit Jesus to a prophet or simply as a wise teacher.  For that to happen, he explained, one must nurture the faith, so it becomes mature and  personal.  Minutes after the Mass, the Pope said farewell to the city's religious and civil representatives. Amid cheers, the Pope boarded a helicopter and made his way back the Vatican.  KLH CTV S -BN Up ATO