Friday, May 1, 2020

Pope Francis' Mass for 1 May 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

Today is the Feast of Saint Joseph the Worker, and also the Day of Workers.  Let us pray for all labourers.  For everyone.  That no one will be without work and that everyone will be justly paid, and that we can all enjoy the dignity of work and the beauty of rest.

Homily of the Holy Father, Pope Francis
during the Mass celebrated in 1 May 2020

And God created (Gen 1: 27). A Creator. He created the world, created man, and gave a mission to man: manage, work, carry on creation. And the word work is the one that the Bible uses to describe this activity carried out by God: He completed the work he had done and ceased all his work on the seventh day (Gen 2: 2). And he gives this activity to man: "You must do this, care for that, that other person, you must work to create with me - it is as if he were saying this - this world, to help it progress (cf Gen 2: 15, 19-20). So much so that human work is only the continuation of God's work: human work is the vocation of man received from God at the end of the creation of the universe.

And work is what makes man similar to God, because with work, man is a creator, he is capable of creating, of creating many things; also of create a family to move forward. Man is a creator and creates with work. This is the calling. And the Bible says that God saw what he had done and behold, it was a very good thing (Gen 1: 31). That is, work has goodness within it and creates the harmony of things - beauty, goodness - and it involves man in everything: in his thought, in his action, everything. Man is involved in working. It is the first vocation of man: to work. And this gives dignity to man. The dignity that makes him look like God. The dignity of work.

Once, in a Caritas office, a man who had no job arrived; he had come to look for something for the family. A Caritas employee gave him something to eat and said: At least she can bring home some bread - But this is not enough for me, it is not enough, was the reply: I want to earn bread to take it home. He lacked the dignity, the dignity of making the bread with his work, and bringing it home. The dignity of work, which is so much trampled on, unfortunately.

Throughout history we have read about the brutalities they did to slaves: they brought them from Africa to America - I think of that story that touches my land - and we say: How much barbarism! But even today there are many slaves, many men and women who are not free to work: they are forced to work in order to survive, nothing more. They are slaves: forced labor ... There are forced labourers; this is unjust; they are poorly paid and this situation leads man to live with trampled dignity. There are many, many in the world. Many. In the newspapers a few months ago we read, in an Asian country, how a gentleman had beaten an employee who earned less than half a dollar a day because he had done something wrong. Today's slavery is our in-dignity, because it takes away the dignity of men, women and all of us. No, I work, I have my dignity. Yes, but your brothers, no. Yes, Father, it is true, but this, since it is so far away, it is hard for me to understand it. But here with us ... Here too, with us. Here, with us. Think of the workers, the day workers, that you make work for a minimum wage and not eight, but twelve, fourteen hours a day: this happens today, here. All over the world, but also here. Think of the maid who has no fair wages, who does not have social security assistance, who does not have a pension: this does not happen in Asia alone. It is happening here.

Every injustice that occurs in the life of a working person is a matter of trampling on human dignity; also the dignity of what injustice does: it lowers the level of self-respect and ends in that tension of dictator-slave. Instead, the vocation that God gives us is so beautiful: create, re-create, work. But this can only be done when the conditions are right and the dignity of the person is respected.

Today we join many men and women, believers and non-believers, who commemorate Worker's Day, Labor Day, for those who fight for justice in the workplace, for those - good entrepreneurs - who carry out their work with justice even if they lose us. Two months ago I heard an entrepreneur on the phone here, in Italy, asking me to pray for him because he didn't want to fire anyone and he said: Because firing one of them is firing myself. This awareness of many good entrepreneurs, who keep workers as if they were children. Let us pray for them too. And we ask Saint Joseph - with this icon (a statue placed near the altar) so beautiful, with the tools of work in hand - to help us fight for the dignity of work, so that there is work for everyone and that it is worthy work. No slavish work. May this be our prayer today.

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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