Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Pope Francis' Mass for 7 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

During these days of Lent, we have seen the persecution that Jesus endured and how the doctors of the Law were so set against him: he was judged with fury, with hatred, while he was innocent.   I want to pray today for all people who are suffering unjust sentences which have been imposed out of hatred and fury.

Homily of the Holy Father, Pope Francis
during the Mass celebrated on 7 April 2020

The prophecy of Isaiah which we have heard is a prophecy concerning the Messiah, the Redeemer, but it is also a prophecy about the people of Israel, the people of God: we can say that it can be a prophecy about each of us. In essence, the prophecy emphasizes that the Lord has chosen his servant from the womb: he says it twice (cf Is 49: 1). From the beginning his servant was chosen, from birth or before birth. The people of God were chosen before birth, each of us too. None of us fell into the world by chance, by accident. Everyone has a destiny, has a free destiny, the destiny of God's election. I was born with the destiny of being a son of God, of being a servant of God, with the task of serving, building, edifying. And this was so, from the womb.

The Servant of the Lord, Jesus, served until his death: it seemed like a defeat, but it was his way of serving. And this underlines the way of serving that we must take in our life. To serve is to give oneself, to give oneself to others. To serve is not to demand for ourselves some benefit other than serving. It is glory, to serve; and the glory of Christ is to serve until he gives himself, until death, death on the Cross (cf Phil 2: 8). Jesus is the servant of Israel. The people of God are servants, and when the people of God move away from this attitude of serving, they are apostate people: they move away from the vocation that God has given them. And when each of us moves away from this vocation to serve, he moves away from the love of God. He builds his life on other loves, many times based on idols.

The Lord has chosen us from the womb. There are falls in life: each of us is a sinner and can fall and we have fallen. Only Our Lady and Jesus are sinless: all others have fallen, we are sinners. But what matters is my attitude before the God who chose me, who anointed me as a servant; it is the attitude of a sinner who is capable of asking for forgiveness, like Peter, who swears: no, I will never deny you, Lord, never, never, never!, then, when the cock crows, he cries. Repent (cf Mt 26: 75). This is the way of the servant: when he slips, when he falls, he asks for forgiveness.

Instead, when the servant is unable to understand that he has fallen, when passion takes him in such a way that it brings him to idolatry, he opens his heart to Satan, he enters the night: this is what happened to Judas (cf Mt 27: 3-10).

Let us think today about Jesus, the servant, faithful in service. His vocation is to serve, until death and death on a cross (cf Phil 2:5-11). Let us think of each of us, we are part of the people of God: we are servants, our vocation is to serve, not to take advantage of our place in the Church. To serve. We are always on duty.

Let us ask for the grace of perseverance in service.  Sometimes we may slip and fall, but let us ask for the grace at least to cry like Peter cried.

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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