Humble service, now 'that's amore,' pope says at audience

By Cindy Wooden

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Serving others, helping them without
making a show of it, “that’s amore,” Pope Francis said.

“Amore,” or love, “is the concrete service we
render to one another,” the pope said March 12 during a special general
audience for the Year of Mercy.

“Love isn’t words, but works and service, a humble
service performed in silence” without seeking acclaim, the pope told tens
of thousands of people gathered in St. Peter’s Square.

The audience began with the reading of St. John’s account of
Jesus washing the disciples’ feet, which Pope Francis said was “an
unexpected and moving gesture, so much so that Peter did not want to accept

Jesus told the disciples that if he, their lord, washed
their feet, they must do the same for others. “In this way Jesus indicates
service as the path to follow if they want to live their faith in him and give
witness to his love,” the pope said.

“Washing the apostles’ feet,” he said, “Jesus
wanted to reveal the way God acts toward us and give an example of his new
commandment of loving one another as he loved us, that is, by giving his life
for us.”

Loving service also involves placing the gifts God has given
one at the service of the community so it can grow, he said, but it also is
expressed “in the sharing of material goods so that no one is in

Members of other religions, he said, also see “this
sharing and dedication to those in need” as a command of God and a path of
true humanity.

“When you forget yourself and think of others, that’s
love,” Pope Francis said. “And with the washing of feet, the Lord
teaches us to be servants.”

To be “merciful like the Father,” which is the
theme of the Year of Mercy, means “to follow Jesus on the path of
service,” the pope said.

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