Pope Francis got a taste of German music in Rome today when he greeted the 500 participants in the ecumenical pilgrimage to Rome, “With Luther to the Pope”.
The pilgrims greeted the Holy Father with their orchestra and choir; Pope Francis picked up on the musical theme in his words, delivered in Paul VI Hall.
“Dear friends, listen also to the melody of God in your life; the melody that the Lord has composed in your life,” Francis said. “Do not only open your ears, open your hearts.
“If you sing with an open heart, you are already touching, perhaps without realizing it, the mystery of God. This mystery is love, the love that in Jesus Christ finds its splendid, full, and unique sound.”
The 2021 Ecumenical Pilgrimage has as its motto “With Luther to Rome,” and is intended to help pilgrims get to know Rome and their faith from a new perspective. It is focused on the elements that unite Christians, the obstacles that have already been overcome in the journey to unity, and the challenges that must still be faced.
It is the second time the group has come to Rome, with the group meeting previously with Pope Francis in 2016. On that occasion, the Holy Father invited the pilgrims to be “witnesses of mercy,” and to continue to get to know one another better, to pray and help one another, and to assist those in need.
The 2021 pilgrimage, which is taking place from October 23-30, is supported by major Christian communities in the region of Saxony Anhalt, including the Diocese of Magdeburg, the Evangelical Church of Anhalt, and the Evangelical Church in Central Germany.
Greeting of the Holy Father
It is with joy that I greet all of you who have made the pilgrimage to Rome under the motto “Better all together”, “Besser alle zusammen”. Some of you were already with us five years ago on the ecumenical pilgrimage “with Luther to the Pope”, “Mit Luther zum Papst”, but today a number of new faces have joined us. From the bottom of my heart, I thank Landesbischof Kramer for the kind words he addressed to me.
At the beginning, you greeted me with a joint song. Singing connects. In the choir no one stands alone: it is important to listen to the others. I would like the Church to be ready to listen. We are in the process of learning this as part of the synodal process.
Dear friends, listen also to the melody of God in your life; the melody that the Lord has composed in your life. Do not only open your ears, open your hearts. If you sing with an open heart, you are already touching, perhaps without realizing it, the mystery of God. This mystery is love, the love that in Jesus Christ finds its splendid, full, and unique sound.
Always remain attentive to God’s melody in your life. Then many voices will join to form one song. This is also where ecumenism happens, in Germany and in many other parts of the world.
The Lord bless and keep you and all your loved ones. And, please, do not forget to pray for me. Thank you.