Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Pope Francis' Mass for 14 April 2020

At 7:00am local time this morning (1:00am EDT), the Holy Father, Pope Francis celebrated Mass inside the chapel at the Casa Santa Marta.

Greetings of His Holiness, Pope Francis
prior to the celebration of the Mass

Let us pray that the Lord may give us to the grace to be united among ourselves.  That the difficulty of this time may help us to discover communion among ourselves, the unity that always is better than every division.

Homily of the Holy Father, Pope Francis
during the Mass celebrated on 14 April 2020

Peter's preaching, on the day of Pentecost, pierces the hearts of the people: He who you crucified is risen (cf Acts 2: 36). Upon hearing these things they felt their heart pierced and said to Peter and the other apostles: 'What should we do?' (Acts 2: 37). And Peter is clear: Convert. Repent. Change life. You who have received the promise of God and you who have strayed from the Law of God, from so many things of yours, among idols, so many things ... be converted. Return to fidelity (cf Acts 2: 38). This is what it means to convert: returning to being faithful. Loyalty, that human attitude that is not so common in people's lives, in our lives. There are always illusions that attract attention and many times we want to go behind these illusions. Loyalty: in good times and in bad times. There is a passage from the Second Book of Chronicles that affects me so much. It is in chapter XII, at the beginning. When the kingdom was consolidated - it says - King Reboam felt safe and moved away from the law of the Lord and all Israel followed him (cf 2 Chron 12: 1). This is what the Bible says. It is a historical fact, but it is a universal fact. Many times, when we feel secure, we begin to make our plans and we slowly move away from the Lord; we do not remain in loyalty. And my security is not what the Lord gives me. He is an idol. This is what happened to Rehoboam and the people of Israel. He felt safe - a consolidated kingdom - he moved away from the law and began to worship idols. Yes, we can say, Father, I don't kneel before idols. No, maybe you don't get on your knees, but that you look for them and many times in your heart you love idols, it's true. A lot of times. Your security opens the door to idols.

But is your security bad? No, it's a grace. Be sure, but also be assured that the Lord is with me. But when there is security and I am at the centre, I move away from the Lord, like King Reboam, I become unfaithful. It is so difficult to maintain loyalty. The whole history of Israel, and then the whole history of the Church, is full of infidelity. Full. Full of selfishness, of its own certainties that make the people of God turn away from the Lord, lose that fidelity, the grace of faithfulness. And even among us, among people, loyalty is not a cheap virtue, certainly. One is not faithful to the other, to the other ... Get converted, return to fidelity to the Lord (cf Acts 2: 38).

And in the Gospel, the icon of faithfulness: that faithful woman who had never forgotten all that the Lord had done for her. She was there, faithful, before the impossible, before the tragedy, a fidelity that also made her think that she was capable of carrying the body ... (cf Jn 20: 15). A weak but faithful woman. The icon of fidelity is Mary Magdalene, the apostle to the apostles.

Today, let us ask the Lord for the grace of faithfulness: to thank Him when He gives us certainties, but never to think that they are my certainties and always to look beyond one's own certainties; the grace of being faithful even before the tombs, before the collapse of many illusions. Loyalty, which always remains, but it is not easy to maintain it. May the Lord help us to maintain it.

After the completion of the Mass, the Holy Father spent some time in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament.  All those who could not be physically present, but who were participating via various media were encouraged to be united with him in prayer and to make a spiritual communion.

Prayer to make a spiritual communion

My Jesus, I believe that you are truly present in the Blessed Sacrament of the altar. I love you above all things and I desire you in my soul. Since I cannot receive You sacramentally now, at least spiritually come to my heart. As you have already come, I embrace you and I join myself to you. Do not let me ever be separated from you.  Amen.

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