Thursday, April 30, 2020

Pope Francis' Mass for 30 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 the Holy Father, Pope Francis
prior to the celebration of the Mass

Let us pray today for the dead, those who have died because of the pandemic; and also in a special way for the unknown dead - let us say it this way - : we have seen photographs of mass graves.  Many of them ...

Homily of the Holy Father, Pope Francis
during the Mass celebrated on 30 April 2020

No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him (Jn 6: 44).  Jesus recalls the fact that even the prophets had foretold this: And all will be instructed by God (Jn 6:45). It is God who attracts knowledge of the Son. Without this, one cannot know Jesus. Yes, one can study, even study the Bible, even know how he was born, what he did, this we can know, yes. But knowing it from within, knowing the mystery of Christ is only for those who are attracted by the Father to this mystery.

This is what happened to the Queen of Ethiopia's minister of economics. You can see that he was a pious man and that he took the time, in the midst of so many of his affairs, to go to worship God. He was a believer. And while he returned home, he was reading the prophet Isaiah (cf Acts 8: 27-28). The Lord took Philip, sent him to that place and then said to him: Go ahead, go to that wagon (Jn 8: 29). And he heard the minister reading from the Book of Isaiah. He approached and asked him a question: Do you understand? - And how could I understand, if no one guides me? (Acts 8: 31), and he asks the question: About whom is the prophet speaking? ... Please, get in the carriage. And during the journey - I don't know how long it took, I think at least a couple of hours - Philip explained, told the official about Jesus (cf Acts 8: 26-35).

The restlessness that this gentleman had in reading the prophet Isaiah was from the Father, who attracted him to Jesus (cf Jn 6:44): he had prepared him, brought him from Ethiopia to Jerusalem to worship God and then, with this reading, he had prepared his heart to receive Jesus. To the point that as soon as he saw the water he said, Can I be baptized? (cf Acts 8: 36). And he believed.

And this truth - that no one can know Jesus without the Father drawing him (cf Jn 6: 44) - this is valid for our apostolate, for our apostolic mission as Christians. I also think of missions. What are you going to do in the missions? - I want to convert people - But stop, you will not convert anyone! The Father will attract those hearts to recognize Jesus. Going on a mission is a matter of bearing witness to one's faith; without testimony you will do nothing. To go on a mission - and missionaries are good! - does not mean building large structures, things…, and stopping like this. No, structures must be testimonials. You can build a hospital, educational structures of great perfection, of great development, but if a structure is without Christian testimony, your work there will not be a work of witness, a work of the true preaching of Jesus: it will be a charitable society, very good - very good! - but nothing more.

If I want to go on a mission ..., if I want to go to out with an apostolate, I have to go with the willingness to know the Father will draw people to Jesus, and this action on my part testifies to him. Jesus himself says this to Peter, when he confesses that He is the Messiah: You are blessed, Simon Peter, because this has been revealed to you by the Father (cf Mt 16: 17). It is the Father who attracts, and He also attracts with our testimony. I will do many works, here, here, there, of education, of this, of the other ..., but without testimony they are good things, but they are not the proclamation of the Gospel, they are not places that give the possibility for the Father to draw others to the knowledge of Jesus (cf Jn 6: 44). Work and testimony.

But what can I do so that the Father will be concerned about attracting those people? Pray. This is the prayer for the missions: pray for the Father to attract people to Jesus. Testimony and prayer go together hand in hand. Without witness and prayer, apostolic preaching cannot take place, proclamation of the gospel cannot take place. You will make a beautiful moral sermon, you will do many good things, all good. But the Father will not have the possibility of attracting people to Jesus. And this is the focus: this is the centre of our apostolate, that the Father may attract people to Jesus (cf Jn 6:44). Our testimony opens the doors to people and our prayer opens the doors to the heart of the Father so that He can attract people. Testimony and prayer. And this is not only for the missions, it is also for our work as Christians. Do I really testify to Christian life with my lifestyle? Do I pray that the Father will attract people to Jesus?

This is the great rule for our apostolate, everywhere, and especially for missions. Going on a mission is not proselytizing. Once, a lady - she was good, you could see she was of good will - came up with two boys, a boy and a girl, and said to me: This boy, Father, was a Protestant and converted: I convinced him. And this girl was ... - I don't know, animist, I don't know what she said to me - and I converted her. And the lady was good ... good. But she was wrong. I lost my patience a little and said: Listen, you haven't converted anyone: it was God who touched people's hearts. And don't forget: testimony, yes; proselytism, no.

Let us ask the Lord for the grace to do our work by bearing witness and with prayer, so that He, the Father, may attract people to Jesus.

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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