Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Pope Francis' Mass for 28 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

At this time, as we are beginning to make provisions for moving out of quarantine, let us pray to the Lord, asking that he might give his people, all of us, the grave of prudence and obedience to remain faithful to the plan, so that the pandemic does not return.

Homily of the Holy Father, Pope Francis
during the Mass celebrated on 28 April 2020

In the first reading that we have been reading over the past few days, we have heard the story of Stephen, the martyr: the way in which all this came about was simple.  The doctors of the Law could not tolerate the clarity of his doctrine, and, as soon as his words were proclaimed, they went to ask someone to say that they had heard someone say that Stephen was blaspheming against God, against the Law (cf Acts 6: 11-14).  And after this, they took hold of him and stoned him: quite simply (cf Acts 7: 57-58).  This is not the first time that we have seen this kind of action: they did the same thing with Jesus (cf Mt 26: 60-62).  The people, who were there ..., sought to convince him that he was a blasphemer, and they cried out: Crucify him! (Mk 15: 13).  It's barbaric.  This is something barbaric, to base an argument on false testimony in order to effect justice.  That was their scheme.  In the bible too, we find cases of this sort: they did the same thing to Suzanna (cf Daniel 13: 1-64), they did the same thing to Nabot (cf 1 Kings 21: 1-16), and then Aman tried to do the same thing with the people of God (cf Esther 3: 1-14).  False information, slander that gets the people upset and agitated so that they will call for justice.  It is a lynching, a real lynching.

So they brought him before the judge, so that the judge could give the appearance that this was all legal: but he had already been judged; the judge would have to be very, very courageous to go against a judgement that was so popular, pronounced on purpose, prepared.  This was the case of Pilate: Pilate clearly saw that Jesus was innocent, but he saw the people and he washed his hands (cf Mt 27: 24-26).  This was one way of doing jurisprudence.  Today too, we still see this: today too, it happens, in certain countries, when we want to bring about a coup d'Etat or we ant to get rid of some political men so that they cannot present themselves for election, we do the same thing: false information, slander, then we defer to a judge, to those who like to do jurisprudence with situational positivism which is in fashion, and he condemns.  This is social lynching.  This is what they did to Stephen, this is the same thing that happened with the judgement of Stephen, they brought to judgement someone who had already been judged by the people.

This is what happens with the martyrs of today: the judges are not given a chance to do justice, because they have already been judged.  We can think of the case of Asia Bibi, for example, which we have seen: ten years in prison because she had been judged on a slander and a people who wanted her dead.  Very often, we can do nothing in the face of such avalanches of false information which create the opinion: we can do nothing.

I often think about this situation, about the Shoah.  The Shoah was a case like this: an opinion was created against this people and, then, it became normal to say: Yes, yes, we must kill them, we must kill them.  This was one way to go about eliminating the poor people, who were disturbing.

We all know that this is not good, but what we do not know is that there is a little lynching going on every day, that seeks to condemn people, to cry out and create a bad reputation for some people, to push them aside, to condemn them.  There is often a small daily lynching of gossip that creates an opinion. Sometimes a person hears someone slandering and says, No, that person is right! - No, no, we say that ..., and with this we say that, we create an opinion to end someone. Truth is another thing: truth is testimony to the truth, to the things a person believes; truth is clear, it is transparent. Truth does not tolerate pressure. Let's look at Stephen, the martyr: the first martyr after Jesus. The first martyr. Let us think about the apostles: all of them testified. And we can think of the many martyrs, also the one we are celebrating today, Saint Pierre Chanel: it was gossip that created the opinion that he was against the king ... We create a reputation and we have to kill it. And we should think about ourselves, our language: very often with our comments, we start a lynching of this kind. And in our Christian institutions, we have seen many daily lynchings that are born from gossip.

May the Lord help us to be just in our judgements, to not begin or to feed into this massive condemnation that creates bad reputations.

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.

A Tes pieds, ô mon Jésus, je me prosterne et je T'offre le repentir de mon cœur contrit qui demeure dans son néant et en Ta sainte présence. Je t'adore dans le Sacrement de Ton amour, l'ineffable Eucharistie. Je désire te recevoir dans la pauvre demeure que mon cœur t'offre. Dans l'attente du bonheur de la communion sacramentelle, je veux te posséder en esprit. Viens à moi, ô mon Jésus, que je vienne à Toi. Que Ton amour enflamme tout mon être, pour la vie et pour la mort. Je crois en toi, j'espère en toi, je t'aime. Ainsi soit-il.

Ai tuoi piedi, o mio Gesù, mi prostro e ti offro il pentimento del mio cuore contrito che si abissa nel suo nulla e nella tua santa presenza. Ti adoro nel sacramento del Tuo amore, l’Eucaristia. Desidero riceverti nella povera dimora che ti offre il mio cuore; in attesa della felicità della comunione sacramentale voglio possederti in spirito. Vieni a me, o mio Gesù, che io vengo da Te. Possa il tuo amore infiammare tutto il mio essere per la vita e per la morte. Credo in Te, spero in Te, ti amo. Cosi sia.

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