(Vatican-Radio) On September 26, Pope Francis celebrated a Mass to mark the Jubilee of Catechists in the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy. Catechists from Montreal were also present for that special moment.

"This centre around which everything revolves, this beating heart which gives life to everything is the Paschal proclamation, the first proclamation: the Lord Jesus is risen, the Lord Jesus loves you, and he has given his life for you; risen and alive, he is close to you and waits for you every day.  We must never forget this," Pope Francis said.

The Pope went on to explain how the Readings of the Day, especially the Sunday Gospel, which contained the parable of the pauper, Lazarus, and the rich man, teaches us how the Lord looks at and cares - through us - for those who are neglected and discarded by the world - and how he gives us the opportunity, the mission and the duty to bring the Good News to those most in need of it.

The Holy Father went on to say, "On this Jubilee for Catechists, we are being asked not to tire of keeping the key message of the faith front and centre: the Lord is risen. Nothing is more important;  nothing is clearer or more relevant than this. Everything in the faith becomes beautiful when linked to this centrepiece, if it is saturated by the Paschal proclamation. If it remains in isolation, however, it loses its sense and force."

"And so, dear catechists, dear brothers and sisters," concluded Pope Francis, "may the Lord give us the grace to be renewed every day by the joy of the first proclamation to us: Jesus died and is risen, Jesus loves us personally! May he give us the strength to live and proclaim the commandment of love, overcoming blindness of appearances, and worldly sadness. May he make us sensitive to the poor, who are not an afterthought in the Gospel but an important page, always open before all."