To see God’s beauty, just look around you, says Pope Francis

09 Mar 2023

By Jamie O'Brien

Pope Francis waves to the visitors in St Peter’s Square gathered to pray the Angelus, Sunday 5 March, 2023. Photo: CNS/Vatican Media.

The light and beauty of Christ is an invitation to recognise God’s love in life’s ordinary moments, Pope Francis has said.

Speaking to some 25,000 visitors gathered to pray the Angelus in St Peter’s Square, Sunday 5 March, Pope Francis reflected on the day’s Gospel reading from St Matthew of Jesus’ Transfiguration, in which he appears to the disciples in radiant glory.

The Holy Father explained that witnessing the “light of holiness” radiated by Christ 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 recognise 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.”

Pope Francis waves to the visitors in St Peter’s Square gathered to pray the Angelus, Sunday 5 March 2023. Photo: CNS/Vatican Media.

In the same way, Pope Francis said Christians are called to recognise 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 recognising God’s love around them and resist alienating themselves from their surroundings.