04 2020



Pope Francis - Holy Mass Casa Santa Marta (Domus Sanctae Marthae) 
 30.04.20
 
Talks about Witness, Missions, Prayer and the Father drawing people to Jesus

Pope Francis Talks about Witness, Missions, Prayer and the Father drawing people to Jesus 30.04.20
Excerpt below, for the full transcript click on the picture link above

"No one can come to me if the Father does not attract him" (John 6:44): Jesus remembers that even the prophets had foretold this: "They will all be taught by God" (John 6:45). It is God who attracts to the knowledge of the Son. Without this, you cannot know Jesus. Yes, you can study, even study the Bible, even know how he was born, what he did: that yes. But knowing him from within, knowing the mystery of Christ is only for those who are attracted by the Father to this.

"What are you going to do in missions?" – "I, convert people" – "But stop, you will not convert anyone! It will be the Father who attracts those hearts to recognize Jesus." To go on a mission is to bear witness to one's faith; without witness you will do nothing. 

You can make a hospital structure, educational of great perfection, of great development, but if a structure is without Christian witness, your work there will not be a work of witness, a work of the true proclamation of Jesus: it will be a charitable society, very good – very good! – but nothing more.

"But what can I do for the Father to bother to attract those people?" Prayer. And this is prayer for missions: to pray that the Father will draw people to Jesus. Witness and prayer, they go together. 

Our witness opens the doors to the people and our prayer opens the doors to the Father's heart to attract people. Witness and prayer. And this is not only for missions, it is also for our work as Christians. Do I bear witness to Christian life, really, with my way of life? Do I pray that the Father will draw people to Jesus?

Let us ask the Lord for the grace to live our work with witness and prayer, so that he, the Father, may draw people to Jesus.




Pope Francis - Holy Mass Casa Santa Marta (Domus Sanctae Marthae) 
 29.04.20 

Today talks about Sin, Concreteness, Truth and living Lukewarm, in the Grey

Pope Francis Talks about Sin, Concreteness, Truth and living Lukewarm, in the Grey 29.04.20
Excerpt below, for the full transcript click on the picture link above

In the first letter of St. John the Apostle there are many contrasts: between light and darkness, between lie and truth, between sin and innocence. But the Apostle always  calls us to concreteness, to the truth, and tells us that we cannot be in communion with Jesus and walk in darkness, because He is light. It's either one thing or the other: grey is even worse, because grey makes you believe that you are walking in the light, because you are not in darkness and this reassures you. Grey is very treacherous. Neither one thing nor the other.

The Apostle goes on to say: "If we say we are sinless, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us", because we have all sinned, we are all sinners. And here there is one thing that can deceive us: to say "we are all sinners", as we say "hello", "good morning", a usual thing, even a social thing, and so we do not have a true consciousness of sin. No: I am a sinner because of this, this and this. Concreteness.
 
The concreteness of the truth: the truth is always concrete; Lies are ethereal, they're like air, you can't catch them. The truth is concrete. And you can't go and confess your sins in an abstract way: "Yes, I ... yes, once I lost patience, another ...", and abstract things. "I am a sinner." concreteness: "I did this. I thought this. That's what I said." Concreteness is what makes me feel like a true sinner and not a sinner in the air.

Jesus says in the Gospel: "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the little ones." The concreteness of the little ones. It is beautiful to listen to the little ones when they come to confession: they do not say strange things, in the air; they say concrete things, and sometimes too concrete because they have that simplicity that God gives to the little ones.

Concreteness leads you to humility, because humility is concrete. "We are all sinners" is an abstract thing. No: "I am a sinner for this, this and this", and this makes me ashamed to look at Jesus: "Forgive me". The true attitude of the sinner.

It is important that we, within ourselves, give names to our sins. Concreteness. Because if we keep them in the air, we will end up in darkness. Let's be like the little ones, who say what they feel, what they think. Because the devil wants us to live in tepidly, lukewarm, in the grey: neither good nor bad, nor white nor black: grey. A life doesn't please the Lord. The Lord doesn't like lukewarm people. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just forgives us: he forgives us when we are concrete. 

Let us ask the Lord for the grace of simplicity and for Him to give us this grace that he gives to the simple, the children, the young people who say what they feel, who do not hide what they feel. Even if it's wrong, but they say it. Even with him, saying things: transparency. And don't live a life that's not one thing or the other. The grace of freedom to say these things and also the grace to know well who we are before God.




Pope Francis - Holy Mass Casa Santa Marta (Domus Sanctae Marthae) 
  28.04.20 
Today talks about Martyrs, False News, Slander, the Holocaust, Gossip and Mass Condemnation

Pope Francis Talks about Martyrs, False News, Slander, the Holocaust, Gossip and Mass Condemnation 28.04.20
Excerpt below, for the full transcript click on the picture link above

In the first Reading of these days we listened to Stephen's martyrdom. False news, slander that ignites the people who then demand justice. It's a lynching, a real lynching.
Even today we see it: it takes place even today, in some countries, when they want to make a coup or take out some politician so that he does not go to the elections or whatever, this is done: false news, slander, then they rely on a judge that is to their liking  to create law in these types of situations that lead to a condemnation. It's a social lynching. Brought to be judged, someone who had already been judged by the deceived people.
This also happens with today's martyrs: that judges have no chance of doing justice because they come already judged.  In the face of this avalanche of false news that creates opinion, so often nothing can be done.
I think a lot about this, the Holocaust. The Holocaust is such an example: an opinion was created against a people and then it was normal: "Yes, yes: they must be killed, they must be killed". This is a way to proceed to get rid of people who are bothering you, disturbing you.
We all know that this is not good, but what we do not know is that there is a small daily lynching that tries to condemn people, to create a bad reputation for people, to discard them, to condemn them: the little daily lynching of gossip that creates an opinion. And so often we hear someone say: "But no, this person is a good person!" – "No , no: it is said that ...", and with that "it is said that" you create an opinion to take down a person.
Truth is something else: truth is the testimony of the truth, of the things that a person believes; the truth is clear, it is transparent. Truth does not tolerate oppression.
And let us think about ourselves, of our language: so often we, with our comments, begin such a lynching. And in our Christian institutions, we have seen so many daily lynchings that were born from gossip.
May the Lord help us to be just in our judgments, not to begin or follow this mass condemnation that is provoked by gossip.




Pope Francis - Holy Mass Casa Santa Marta (Domus Sanctae Marthae) 
Today  27.04.20 
Remember the first Encounter 

Pope Francis Remember the first Encounter 27.04.20
Excerpt below, for the full transcript click on the picture link above

The people who had listened to Jesus throughout the day, and then had this grace of the multiplication of loaves and saw the power of Jesus, wanted to make him king. They were enthusiastic to make him king. But they had forgotten at that moment the enthusiasm that the word of Jesus gave rise to in their hearts. 

And Jesus makes them return to their first feelings, to what they had before the multiplication of the loaves, when they listened to the word of God. They, instead of justifying themselves: "No, Lord, no...", were humble. And being good they said, "What can we do to accomplish the works of God?" and Jesus says "Believe in the Son of God." This is a case in which Jesus corrects the attitude of the people, of the crowd, because they had gradually distanced themselves from the first spiritual consolation and had taken a path that was not right, a path more worldly than evangelical.

This makes us think that so many times in life we begin to follow Jesus, behind Jesus, with the values of the Gospel, and halfway there comes another idea, we see some signs and we turn away and conform with something more temporal, more material, more worldly, perhaps, and we lose the memory of that first enthusiasm that we had when we heard Jesus speak. 

The Lord always brings us back to the first encounter, to the first moment when he looked at us, spoke to us and aroused within us the desire to follow him. This is a grace to ask the Lord, because we in life will always have this temptation to move away because we see something else: "But that will be fine, but that idea is good...". The grace to always return to the first call, to the first moment: do not forget, do not forget my story, when Jesus looked at me with love and said to me: "This is your path"; when Jesus through so many people made me understand the path of the Gospel and not other somewhat worldly paths, with other values. Go back to the first encounter.

It happens that we move away and look for other values, other ways of interpretation, other things, and we lose the freshness of the first call. The author of the letter to the Hebrews also reminds us of this: "Remember the first days." The memory, the memory of the first encounter, the memory of "my Galilee", when the Lord looked at me with love and said, "Follow me."





Pope Francis - Holy Mass Casa Santa Marta (Domus Sanctae Marthae) 
 26.04.20
  
 Christianity - an encounter with Jesus

Pope Francis Christianity - an encounter with Jesus 26.04.20
Excerpt below, for the full transcript click on the picture link above

A person is a Christian because he or she has met Jesus, he or she has allowed themselves to meet with him.

We were born with a seed of restlessness. God wanted it like this: an anxiety to find fullness, an anxiety to find God. So often even without knowing that we have this concern our hearts are restless, our hearts thirsty: thirsty for an encounter with God. It looks for it many times on the wrong road: it gets lost, then returns, it looks for him . On the other hand, God thirsts to meet, so much so that he sent Jesus to meet us, to come and meet this concern.

How does Jesus act? In this passage of the Gospel (cf. Luke 24: 13-35) we see that he respects, respects our own situation, does not move forward. He usually goes slowly, respectful of our readiness. He's the Lord of patience. How much patience the Lord has with each of us! The Lord walks beside us.

As we have seen here with these two disciples, he listen to our concerns – he knows them! – and at some point he tells us something. The Lord likes to hear how we speak, to understand us well and to give the right answer to that concern. The Lord does not accelerate the pace, he always goes at our pace, often slow, but his patience is like this.
There is an ancient rule of pilgrims that says that the real pilgrim must go at the pace of the slowest person. And Jesus is capable of this, he does it, he does not accelerate, he waits for us to take the first step. He likes us to talk. To listen to us and respond. He explains, to the necessary extent.

We meet Jesus in the darkness of our doubts. Even in the ugly doubt of our sins, He is there to help us, in our anxieties. He's always with us. 

Why are you a Christian? And many people don't know what to say. Some say it's by tradition but others do not know what to say: because they met Jesus, but they did not realize that it was an encounter with Jesus. Jesus always seeks us. All the time. And we have our own concern. When our concern meets Jesus, there the life of grace begins, the life of fullness, the life of the Christian journey.

May the Lord grant us all this grace to meet Jesus every day, to know, to know that he walks with us in all our moments. He's our pilgrimage companion.





Pope Francis - Holy Mass Casa Santa Marta (Domus Sanctae Marthae) 
 25.04.20 

Transmission of faith by living our faith through service

Pope Francis Transmission of faith by living our faith through service 25.04.20
Excerpt below, for the full transcript click on the picture link above

Today the Church celebrates St. Mark, one of the four evangelists, he was very close to the Apostle Peter. The Gospel of Mark was the first to be written. It is pleasing to read the simplicity with which Mark recounts the life of the Lord.

And in the Gospel there is the sending forth by the Lord. This is the Lord's taking leave: the Lord leaves, departs, and "was taken up into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God." But before he left, when he appeared to the Eleven, he said to them, "Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature." This is the missionary nature of faith. 

Faith is either missionary or it is not faith. Faith is not just for me, for me to grow up with faith: this is a gnostic heresy. Faith always leads you out of yourself. Go out. The transmission of faith; faith must be transmitted, it must be offered, especially through witness: "Go, let people see how you live."

"I'm a Christian." It's a fact on the identity card. This is not faith. This is a cultural thing. Faith necessarily takes you out, leads you to give it, because essentially faith must be transmitted . It's not quiet. "Oh, do you mean, father, that we all have to be missionaries and go to distant countries?" No, this is a part of the missionary dimension. 

You need to go out of yourself, and show faith socially. 
And that's not to proselytize, as if I were recruiting for a football team  or a charity. No, faith as a witness through service. Service is a way of life: if I say that I am a Christian and I live like a pagan, it does not work! That doesn't convince anyone. If I say that I am a Christian and I live as a Christian, that attracts. That's witness. 
A university student asked me "I have many fellow students who are atheists. What do I have to tell them to convince them?" – "Nothing, nothing! The last thing you have to do is say something. Start to live and they will see your witness, and they will ask you, 'But why do you live like this?'" Faith must be transmitted, but not by convincing, but by offering a treasure. "It's there, you see it?" And this is also the humility that St. Peter spoke of in the First Reading: "Clothe yourself with humility in your dealings with one another, because God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble." How many times in the Church, in history, have movements, groups of men or women who wanted to convince others to faith, to convert and were real "proselytes." And how did they end up? In corruption.
And the Lord will be with us until the end of the world. He accompanies us. In the transmission of faith, the Lord is always with us. 

Let us pray to the Lord to help us live our faith like this: faith with open doors, a transparent faith, not "proselytizing", but one that shows: "Look I am like this." And with this healthy curiosity, you help people get this message that will save them.




Pope Francis - Holy Mass Casa Santa Marta (Domus Sanctae Marthae) 
  24.04.20 

Today talks about the Disciples, Jesus and Pastors

Pope Francis Talks about the Disciples, Jesus and Pastors 24.04.20
Excerpt below, for the full transcript click on the picture link above

Jesus' attitude with the disciples. He continually tested them to teach them, and when they had deviated from the role they had to do, he would stop them and teach them.

The Gospel is full of these actions of Jesus to allow his disciples to grow, to provoke growth, to become pastors of the people of God. And one of the things Jesus loved most was being with the crowd because this too is a symbol of the universality of redemption. And one of the things the apostles didn't like the most was the crowd because they liked to be close to the Lord, to hear the Lord, to hear everything the Lord said. Today they went there to take a day off. 

But the Lord sought closeness to the people and sought to form the hearts of the shepherds in closeness with God's people to serve them.

For example, let's think about children. What does Jesus say? "Let the children come." Then I think of the road to Jericho, the one who shouted: "Jesus son of David, have mercy on me." And Jesus says, "But who is that? Let him come."  He taught them that closeness to God's people.

The disciples say: "But send the people away so that they can buy something to eat". Jesus responds, to test them: "Give him food". And this is what Jesus says to all the shepherds today: "Give them food." "Are they distressed? Give them consolation? Are they lost? Show them a way forward. Are they making mistakes? Give them a way to solve their problems... Give them yourselves...". And the poor apostles feel that they need to give, and give, and give, but from whom do they receive? Jesus teaches us, from the same one that Jesus received. After this, he dismisses the apostles and goes to pray, to the Father. From prayer.

This double nearness of the pastor is what Jesus seeks to help the apostles understand to become great shepherds.

The power of the pastor is service, he has no other power and when he errs taking other powers he ruins his vocation and becomes, I do not know, a manager of pastoral enterprises but not a pastor. The structure does not do pastoral work: the heart of the pastor does pastoral work. And the pastor's heart is what Jesus teaches us now.

Today let us pray to the Lord for the pastors of the Church so that the Lord may always speaks to them, because he loves them so much: always speak to us, tell us how things are, explain and above all teach us not to be afraid of God's people, not to be afraid to be close.





Pope Francis - Holy Mass Casa Santa Marta (Domus Sanctae Marthae) 
 Today 23.04.20 
 
 Jesus prayed for Peter
 and prays for us

Pope Francis Jesus prayed for Peter and prays for us 23.04.20
Excerpt below, for the full transcript click on the picture link above

The First Reading continues the story that began with the healing of the crippled man at the Temple's Beautiful Gate. The apostles were brought before the Sanhedrin, then sent to prison, then an angel freed them and they preached in the Temple. The high priest reproached them: "We gave you strict orders, did we not, to stop teaching in that name?" – that is to say in the name of Jesus.

And then Peter and the apostles replied with the same story: "We must obey God, we are obedient to God, and you are guilty" (cf. Acts 5: 29-31). 

But is this the Peter who has denied Jesus? That Peter who was so afraid, that Peter who was also a coward? How did he get here?
What is the secret, what is the strength that Peter had to get here? There's a verse that will help us understand this. Before the Passion, Jesus said to the apostles, "Satan has sought you to sift through you like wheat. It is the moment of temptation: "You will be like this, like wheat." And to Peter he says, "And I will pray for you, "that your faith may not fail". This is Peter's secret: the prayer of Jesus. 

Jesus prays for Peter, that his faith will not fail. 

And what Jesus did with Peter, he does with all of us. Jesus prays for us; prays before the Father. We are used to praying to Jesus to give us this grace, that grace, to help us, but we are not used to contemplating Jesus who shows the Father his wounds, to Jesus  the intercessor, to Jesus who prays for us. And Peter was able to go all this way, from cowardly to courageous, with the gift of the Holy Spirit thanks to the prayer of Jesus.

Let us turn to Jesus, being grateful that he prays for us. Jesus prays for each of us.

May the Lord teach us to ask him for the grace to pray for each of us.






Pope Francis - Holy Mass Casa Santa Marta (Domus Sanctae Marthae)   22.04.20 
 Am I a child of God or have I ended up being a poor bat?

Pope Francis Am I a child of God or have I ended up being a poor bat? 22.04.20
Excerpt below, for the full transcript click on the picture link above

This passage of the Gospel of John, chapter 3, the dialogue between Jesus and Nicodemus, is a true treatise on theology. And every time we read it, we encounter more wealth, more explanations, more things that make us understand the revelation of God. Today I will only take two points of all this, two points that are in today's passage.
The first is the revelation of God's love. God loves us and loves us – as a saint says – madly: God's love seems crazy. He loves us: "he loved the world so much that he gave his only Son." He gave his Son, sent his Son and sent him to die on the cross. Every time we look at the crucifix, we find this love. The crucifix is precisely the great book of God's love. And why? So that everyone who believes in Him will  not to be lost but may have eternal life. The love of the Father who wants his children to be with him.
The second point is a point that will also help us: "The light came into the world, but people preferred darkness to light, because their works were evil."
There are people – us as well, many times – who cannot live in the light because they are accustomed to darkness. The light dazzles them, they are unable to see. They are human bats: they can only move in the night. And we too, when we are in sin, are in this state: we do not tolerate light. It is more comfortable for us to live in darkness; light hits us, makes us see what we don't want to see. But the worst thing is that the eyes, the eyes of the soul from so much living in darkness get so used to it that they end up ignoring what light is. Losing the sense of light because I get more used to darkness. And so many human scandals, so many corruptions show us this. The corrupt don't know what light is, they don't know. We too, when we are in a state of sin, in a state of distance from the Lord, become blind and feel better in darkness and go forward like this, without seeing, like a blind person, moving around as best we can.
Let the love of God, who sent Jesus to save us, enter into us and the light that Jesus brings, the light of the Spirit enter into us and help us to see things with the light of God, with the true light and not with the darkness that the lord of darkness gives us.
Two things, today: God's love in Christ, crucified; and in everyday life the daily question that we can ask ourselves: "Do I walk in light or walk in darkness? Am I a child of God or have I ended up being a poor bat?"



Pope Francis - Holy Mass Casa Santa Marta (Domus Sanctae Marthae)  21.04.20 
 Talks about Christian community, Holy Spirit, Money, Vanity, Gossip, Silence and Listening


Pope Francis Talks about Christian community, Holy Spirit, Money, Vanity, Gossip, Silence and Listening
Excerpt below, for the full transcript click on the picture link above

We cannot take hold of the Holy Spirit for ourselves;  we can only allow him transform us. The Holy Spirit is capable of doing wonders, things that we cannot even think of.
An example is this first Christian community, which is not a fantasy, what they tell us here: it is a model, which can be achieved when there is docility and let the Holy Spirit in and transform us. This is a model: the Lord has allowed this model of an almost "heavenly" community to show us where we should go.
This "ideal" must be arrived at, but it is not easy: there are many things that divide a community, whether a Christian parish or diocesan  community or of priests or religious.
Seeing  the things that have divided the first Christian communities, I find three: first, money...personal favouritism … "if in your church, in your assembly someone enters with a golden ring, and they immediately bring him to the front of the community, and the poor person is left on the side" (cf. James 2:2). Money divides, the love of money divides the community, divides the Church. the money of power, both political power, and cash … Money and self-interest divide.
Another thing that divides a community is vanity, that desire to feel better than others. Even the vanity to be seen, vanity in habits, in dressing, who goes with the best clothes, who does that and the other ... Vanity ... For the biggest party ...  Vanity leads you to be like a peacock and where there is a peacock, there is division, always.
A third thing that divides a community is gossip. That thing the devil puts in us. "But what a good person he is ..." – "Yes, yes, but ...": immediately the "but": that is a stone to disqualify the other person and right away I say something that I have heard and so the other person is diminished a little.
But the Holy Spirit always comes with his strength to save us from this worldliness of money, vanity and gossip, because the Spirit is not of the world: is against the world. He is capable of doing these miracles, these great things.
Let us ask the Lord for this docility to the Spirit so that he may transform us and transform our communities, our parish, diocesan, religious communities: transform them, to always move forward in the harmony that Jesus wants for the Christian community.




Pope Francis - Holy Mass Casa Santa Marta (Domus Sanctae Marthae)  20.04.20 
 Today talks about being born again and letting the Holy Spirit enter us


Pope Francis Being born again, Let the Holy Spirit enter us 20.04.20
Excerpt below, for the full transcript click on the picture link above

To be a Christian is not only to carry out the Commandments: they must be done, this is true; but if you stop there, you're not a good Christian. To be a good Christian is to let the Spirit enter into you and take you, take you where he wants. In our Christian life so often we stop like Nicodemus, we do not know what step to take, we do not know how to do it or we do not have the confidence in God to take this step and let the Spirit enter. To be born again is to let the Spirit enter us and for the Spirit to lead us and not myself, and that is where the freedom is. With this freedom of the Spirit you will never know where you will end up.
The apostles, who were in the Cenacle, when the Spirit came they went out to preach with that courage, that boldness... they didn't know this was going to happen; and they did it, because the Spirit was guiding them.
Faced with difficulties, in front of a closed door, they did not know how to move forward, they go to the Lord, open their hearts and the Holy Spirit comes and gives them what they need and they go out to preach, courageously, and move forward. This is born of the Spirit, this is not to stop at the "therefore", at the "therefore" of the things I have always done, at the "therefore" that comes after the Commandments, at the "therefore" after religious habits: no! This is being born again. And how does one prepare to be born again? With prayer. Prayer is the thing that opens the door to the Spirit and gives us this freedom, this boldness, this courage of the Holy Spirit. And you'll never know where it's going to take you. But it's the Spirit.
May the Lord help us to always be open to the Spirit, for He will carry us forward in our lives of service to the Lord.






Pope Francis - Holy Mass Casa Santa Marta (Domus Sanctae Marthae)  18.04.20 
Talks about Courage as a Christian


Pope Francis Talks about Courage as a Christian 18.04.20
Excerpt below, for the full transcript click on the picture link above

The leaders, the elders, the scribes, seeing these men and the frankness with which they spoke, and knowing that they were people without education, perhaps they could not write, were amazed. They did not understand: "But it is something that we cannot understand, how are these people so courageous, have this boldness" (cf. Acts 4:13). This word is a very important word that becomes the style of Christian preachers, especially in the Book of the Acts of the Apostles: frankness, boldness, courage. It means all of that.  It comes from the Greek  to indicate this: parrhesìa, frankness, courage.
You cannot be a Christian without this boldness: if you do not have it, you are not a good Christian. If you don't have courage,.
Peter we know : he was not born courageous. He was a coward, he renounced Jesus. But this courage, where does it come from. The gift of the Holy Spirit: boldness, courage, parrhesia is a gift, a grace given by the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. Just after receiving the Holy Spirit they went to preach: a little courageous, a new thing for them. It's consistency, the sign of a Christian, of the true Christian: he is courageous, he tells the whole truth because he is consistent.
: "Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15), go with courage, go with boldness, do not be afraid.
May the Lord always help us to be like this: courageous. That's not reckless: no, no. Courageous. Christian courage is always prudent, but it is courageous.





Pope Francis - Holy Mass Casa Santa Marta (Domus Sanctae Marthae)  17.04.20 
Talks about the Church without the people and familiarity with the Lord


Pope Francis talks about the Church without the people and familiarity with the Lord 17.04.20
Excerpt below, for the full transcript click on the picture link above

The disciples were fishermen: Jesus had called them specifically while they were working. This passage of today's Gospel, this miracle makes us think of another miraculous catch, the one that Luke tells. They had a catch when they thought they didn't have any. There was so a quantity of fish, the Gospel says, that "they were filled with amazement" by that miracle. Today, in this other catch of fish there is no mention of amazement. One sees a certain naturalness, one sees that there has been progress, a journey of knowing  the Lord, of intimacy with the Lord. The apostles' familiarity with the Lord had grown.
We Christians too, in our journey of life, are in this state of walking, of progressing in familiarity with the Lord. The Lord, I might say, takes us by hand a little, but takes us by hand because he walks with us, we know that it is him. A daily familiarity with the Lord is that of the Christian.
This familiarity with the Lord, of Christians, is always communal. Yes, it's intimate, it's personal but in community. A familiarity without community, a familiarity without bread, a familiarity without the Church, without the people, without the sacraments is dangerous. I say this because someone has made me reflect on the danger that this moment that we are experiencing, this pandemic that has made us all communicate religiously through the media, also this Mass, we are all communicating, but not together, spiritually together. And this is not the Church: this is the Church of a difficult situation, which the Lord allows, but the ideal of the Church is always with the people and with the Sacraments. Always. 
The Church, the sacraments, the people of God are concrete. It is true that at this moment we must make this familiarity with the Lord in this way, but to get out of the tunnel, not to remain there. And this is the familiarity of the apostles: not gnostic, not viralized, not selfish for each of them, but a concrete familiarity, among the people. Familiarity with the Lord in daily life, familiarity with the Lord in the sacraments, in the midst of the people of God.
May the Lord teach us this intimacy with him, this familiarity with him but in the Church, with the sacraments, with the holy faithful people of God.


Pope Francis - Holy Mass Casa Santa Marta (Domus Sanctae Marthae)  16.04.20 
Talks about Joy

Pope Francis Talks about Joy 16.04.20
Excerpt below, for the full transcript click on the picture link above

In these days, in Jerusalem, people had so many feelings: fear, amazement, doubt. It was not a tranquil environment because things happened that were not understood. The Lord went to his disciples. They too knew that he had already risen. But when the Lord appeared they were frightened. They were so full of fear, upset, they thought they saw a ghost. And Jesus says, "Why are you troubled? Why do questions arise in your hearts? Look at my hands, and my feet... Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones."
And then comes a phrase that gives me so much consolation and for this reason, this passage of the Gospel is one of my favourites: "But out of joy they still did not believe in him..." (cf. Luke 24: 41), and they stood there dumbfounded, the joy impeded them from believing. Their joy was so great, there was so much joy that "no, this can't be true.  

Filled with joy, be full of joy. It is the experience of the highest consolation, when the Lord makes us understand that this is something else from being cheerful, positive, enlightened.
As Paul says to the Galatians, "joy is the fruit of the Holy Spirit" (cf. Gal 5:22), it is not the consequence of emotions that break out for a wonderful thing. No, it's more than that. This joy, this joy that fills us, is the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Without the Spirit, you cannot have this joy. Receiving the joy of the Spirit is a grace.
The great strength that we have to transform ourselves, to proclaim the gospel, to move forward as witnesses of the good news is the joy of the Lord that is the fruit of the Holy Spirit, and today we ask Him to grant us this fruit.




Pope Francis - Holy Mass Casa Santa Marta (Domus Sanctae Marthae)  15.04.20 
Talks about Our and God's Faithfulness 

Pope Francis Talks about Our and God's Faithfulness 15.04.20
Excerpt below, for the full transcript click on the picture link above

Yesterday we reflected on Mary of Magdalene as the icon of fidelity: fidelity to God. But what is this fidelity to God? To what God? It is to the faithful God.
Our faithfulness is nothing more than a response to God's faithfulness. God who is faithful to his word, who is faithful to his promise, who walks with his people bringing the promise close to his people.
God, who is capable of re-doing things, of re-creating, as he did with this crippled man from birth who re-created his feet, and healed him, the God who heals, the God who always brings consolation to his people. The God who re-creates. A new re-creation: this is his faithfulness to us. A re-creation that is more wonderful than creation.
Like that shepherd who when he comes home realizes that he misses a sheep and goes back to look for the sheep that has been lost there. The pastor who does overtime, but out of love, for fidelity ... And our God is a God who does overtime, but not for a fee: for free.
God's faithfulness is a patient faithfulness: he has patience with his people, he listens to them, guides them, slowly explains and rekindles their hearts, as he did with these two disciples who went far from Jerusalem: he warms their hearts to return home.
He is a generous God who sought after Peter who had denied him, who had renounced him.
God's fidelity always precedes us, and our fidelity is always a response to that fidelity that precedes us. It is God who always precedes us. And the almond blossom, in the spring: it blooms first.
To be faithful is to praise this fidelity, to be faithful to this fidelity. It's a response to this faithfulness.



Pope Francis - Holy Mass Casa Santa Marta (Domus Sanctae Marthae)  14.04.20 
Talks about Faithfulness and Idols

Pope Francis Talks about Faithfulness and Idols 14.04.20
Excerpt below, for the full transcript click on the picture link above

Peter's preaching, on the day of Pentecost, pierces people's hearts: "He whom you crucified has is risen" (cf. Acts 2:36). "Hearing this, they were cut to the hearts and they said to Peter and the other apostles, 'What must we do?'" (Acts 2:37). And Peter is clear: "You must Repent. Change your life. You who have received the promise of God and you who have strayed from the Law of God, because of so many things of yours, idols, and so many things ... Repent. Return to faithfulness" (cf. Acts . 2: 38). Converting oneself is this: to be faithful again. Fidelity, that human behaviour that is not so common in people's lives, in our lives. There are always illusions that attract attention and so often we want to go after these illusions. Faithfulness: in good times and bad times.
Many times, when we feel safe and secure, we begin to make our own plans and slowly move away from the Lord; we do not remain faithful. And my security is not what the Lord gives me. It's an idol. This is what happened to Rehoboam and the people of Israel. He felt safe - a consolidated kingdom - he distanced himself from the law and began to worship idols. Yes, we can say, "Father, I do not kneel in front of idols." No, maybe you don't kneel, but you look for them and so many times in your heart you love idols, it's true. So many times. Your own security opens the door to idols.
But is your own security bad? No, it's a grace. Be sure, but also be sure that the Lord is with you.
Let us pray today to the Lord for the grace of being faithful: of thanking Him when he gives us security, but never thinking that it's my own security and always to look beyond my own security; the grace to be faithful even before the tomb, in the face of the collapse of so many illusions. To remain faithful, but it is not easy to maintain it. May He, the Lord, preserve it.




Pope Francis - Holy Mass Casa Santa Marta (Domus Sanctae Marthae)  13.04.20 
Talks about Money and the Way Out of the Pandemic

Pope Francis talks about Money and the Way Out of the Pandemic 13.04.20
Excerpt below, for full text click on picture link above

Today's Gospel presents us with an option, an everyday option, a human option but which holds from that day: the option between joy, the hope of Jesus' resurrection, and the nostalgia for the tomb.
When we do not serve God, the Lord, we serve the other god, money. Let us remember what Jesus said: they are two lords, the Lord God and the lord money. You can't serve both. And to get out of this evidence, from this reality, the priests, the doctors of the Law chose the other way, the one that god of money offered them and they paid: they paid for silence (cf. Mt. 28: 12-13). The silence of the witnesses.
Even today, before the end – we hope it will be soon – the end of this pandemic, there is the same option: either our choice will be for life, for the resurrection of people or it will be for the god of money: return to the tomb of hunger, slavery, wars, weapons factories, children without education ... that's the tomb.
The Lord, both in our personal life and in our social life, always helps us to choose the proclamation: the proclamation that is the horizon, is open, always forward; helps us to choose for the good of the people. And never to fall into the tomb of the god of money.




Pope Francis - Holy Mass Casa Santa Marta (Domus Sanctae Marthae)  08.04.20 
Talks about Judas and love of Money 

Pope Francis talks about Judas and love of Money 08.04.20

Holy Wednesday is also called "Spy Wednesday" or "Betrayal Wednesday", the day on which the Church emphasizes the betrayal of Judas.
When we think about selling people, what comes to mind is the slave trade made that took place between Africa and America. Even today people are sold. Every day. There are Judas's who sell their brothers and sisters, exploiting them in their work, not paying the just wage, not recognizing their duties ... In fact, many time they sell those who are most dear to us. I think that to be more comfortable one is able to turn away parents and not see them anymore, put them safe in a nursing home and not go to see them ... Sell them.
Today human trafficking is as it was in earlier times: it is done. Why is that? Because as Jesus said. They made money a lord. Jesus said, "You cannot serve God and money," two lords. There is only one thing that Jesus puts to us and each one of us must choose: either serve God, and you will be free in adoration and service, or you serve money, and you will be a slave to money. This is the option and so many people want to serve God and money. And that can't be done. In the end, they pretend to serve God to serve money. They are the hidden exploiters who are socially impeccable, but under the table they trade, even with people: it doesn't matter. Human exploitation is selling ones neighbour.
Judas went away, but he has left disciples, who are not his disciples but the devils'.
The devil entered Judas, it was the devil who led him to this point. And how did the story end? The devil is a bad payer: he is not a reliable payer. He promises you everything, makes you see everything and in the end leaves you alone in your desperation to hang yourself.
Let us think of so many institutionalized Judas in this world, who exploit people. And let us also think of the little Judas that each of us has within ourselves at the hour of choosing: between loyalty or self-interest. Each of us has the capacity to betray, to sell, to choose for our own interest. Each of us has the possibility of being attracted to the love of money or goods or future well-being. "Judas, where are you?" But each of us has to ask the question: "You, Judas, the little Judas I have inside: where are you?"




Pope Francis - Holy Mass Casa Santa Marta (Domus Sanctae Marthae)  07.04.20 
Talks about Service
 

Service

The prophecy of Isaiah that we have heard is a prophecy about the Messiah, the Redeemer, but also a prophecy about the people of Israel, about the people of God: we can say that it may be a prophecy about each of us.
The people of God were chosen before birth, even each of us. None of us fell into the world by chance. Everyone has a destiny, he has a free destiny, the destiny of the election of God. I am born with the destiny of being a child of God, of being a servant of God, with the task of serving, of building, of building. And this, from the mother's womb.
To serve is to give to others. Serving is not pretending that we have any other benefit to give other than to serve. And when each of us distances ourselves from this vocation to serve, we move away from God's love. And we construct our lives on other loves, often idolatrous. 
There are, in life, falls: each of us is a sinner and can fall and has fallen. But what matters is our behaviour before the God who chose us, who anointed me as a servant; and the attitude of a sinner who is able to ask for forgiveness, like Peter, who swears that "no, I will never deny you, Lord, never, never!" then, when the cock crows, he cries. He repents. (Mt. 26:75). This is the path of a servant: when he slips, when he falls, he asks for forgiveness.
Instead, when the servant is not able to understand that he has fallen, when passion takes hold of him in such a way that it leads him to idolatry, he opens his heart to Satan, the night enters: it is what happened to Judas.

Let us ask for the grace to persevere in service. Sometimes with slips, falls, but the grace at least to weep as Peter cried.




Pope Francis - Holy Mass Casa Santa Marta (Domus Sanctae Marthae)  06.04.20 
Talks about the Poor and what we do for them

Poor

Today I would like to dwell on one of Jesus' words. "You always have the poor with you". This is a truth.
The poor are there. There are many: there is the poor that we see, but this is the least part; the great quantity of the poor are those who we do not see: the hidden poor. And we do not see them because we enter into this culture of indifference that is denial: "No, no, there are not many, they are not seen; yes, that case ...", always diminishing the reality of the poor. But there are many, many.
There is a habit of seeing the poor as ornaments of a city: yes, there they are, like statues; yes. But as if it were a normal thing. It is part of the decoration of the city to have poor. But the vast majority are the poor victims of economic policies, of financial policies. Some recent statistics summarised: there is a lot of money in the hands of a few and so many people suffer poverty, many of them. And this is the poverty of so many people who are victims of the structural injustice of the world economy. And there are so many poor people who feel ashamed to reveal that they cannot get to the end of the month. There are many more poor than there are rich people; many, many ...
The new poor who have to leave their home because they can't pay for it. It is the injustice of economic or financial organization that lead them to this point. And there are many, many, so many that we will meet them at the judgment. The first question Jesus will ask us is: "What did you do with the poor? Did you feed them? When they were in prison, did you visit them? Did you visit them in hospital? Did you help the widow, and the orphan? Because that's where I was." And we will be judged on that. We will not be judged on our luxuries or the travels we make or the our social importance. We will be judged regarding our relationship with the poor.
But if I ignore the poor today, I leave them aside, I believe they are not there, the Lord will ignore me on the day of judgment. When Jesus says: "You always have the  poor with you", he means: "I, I will always be with you in the poor. I will be there." And this is not being a communist, this is the centre of the Gospel: we will be judged on this.




Pope Francis - Holy Mass Casa Santa Marta (Domus Sanctae Marthae)  04.04.20 
The three steps of the temptation of the devil  

Temptations

The doctors of the law and even the high priests, were restless because strange things were happening  in their country. First John, then came this Jesus, pointed out by John. He began to do signs, and miracles, but above all to speak to the people and people understood, and people followed him, and he did not always observe the law and this was so disturbing. Some went to him to test him, and always the Lord had a clear response for them. They become angry because not even the soldiers could arrest him. That group that had formed among  the doctors of the law had a formal meeting. It was a trial, a process that began with little anxieties in the time of John the Baptist and then ended in this session of the doctors of the law and high priests. A process that grew, a process that they became more secure in the decision they had to make, but no one had said it precisely and  clearly: "This person must be cast out."
This way the doctors of the law proceeded is precisely a model of how temptation works in us, because behind this truly was the devil who wanted to destroy Jesus and the temptation in us generally acts like this: it begins with a little thing, with a desire, an idea, it grows, infects others and in the end justifies itself.
These are the three steps of the temptation of the devil in us and it is the three steps that the devil worked in the temptation of the doctors of the law.

And they all went home calmly. And all of us, when we are overcome by temptation, end up calm, because we have found a justification for this sin, for this sinful attitude, for this action not according to God's law.
We should have a habit of identifying this process of temptation in us. This process that makes us change our hearts from good to evil, that takes us on the road downhill. One thing that grows, grows, grows slowly, then infects others and eventually justifies itself. It is rare that temptations to us come all at once, the devil is cunning. And he knows how to take this path, he took it to come to the condemnation of Jesus.
When we find ourselves in a sin, that we have fallen, yes, we must go and ask forgiveness from the Lord, it is the first (step) that we must do, but then we need to understand: "How did I come to fall there? How did this process begin in my soul? How did it grow stronger? Who else did I infect? And how did I finally justify myself falling?"



Pope Francis - Holy Mass Casa Santa Marta (Domus Sanctae Marthae)  02.04.20 
Talks about Christian Life 

Christian life

The election, the promise and the covenant, are the three dimensions of the life of faith, the three dimensions of Christian life. 
Each of us has been chosen,  no one chooses to be a Christian among all the possibilities that the religious market offers him, we have been chosen. We are Christians because we have been chosen. In this election there is a promise, there is a promise of hope, the promise is fruitfulness. And the covenant is fidelity, to be faithful. We were chosen, the Lord gave us a promise, now He asks us to enter into a covenant. A covenant of faithfulness.
A Christian isn't someone who can just show their Baptismal certificate: the certificate of Baptism is just a piece of paper. 
You are a Christian if you say yes to the election that God has made of you, if you follow the promise that the Lord has made to you and if you live the covenant with the Lord: this is Christian life. The sins on the journey are always against these three dimensions: not accepting ones election and we "choose" so many idols, so many things that are not of God; not accepting  hope in the promise; and forgetting the covenant.





Pope Francis - Holy Mass Casa Santa Marta (Domus Sanctae Marthae)  01.04.20 
Talks about Disciples and the Holy Spirit  

Disciple

In these days, the Church has us listen to the eighth chapter of John: there is a strong discussion between Jesus and the doctors of the Law. And above all, He is trying to reveal His true identity. 

Speaking of His identity, Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in Him, he advised them: "If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples." 

Christian identity is not a card that says "I am a Christian", an identity card: no. It's discipleship. If you remain in the Lord, in the Word of the Lord, in the life of the Lord, you will be a disciple.

And "remain in the Lord," what does it mean? To allow  the Holy Spirit guide you. The disciple allows himself to be guided by the Holy Spirit, for this reason the disciple is always  someone of tradition and but can embrace novelty, he is a free man.

The Holy Spirit gives us freedom. And this is an anointing. Those who remain in the Lord are disciples, and the disciple is anointed, an anointment of the Spirit. 

Someone who has received the anointment of the Spirit carries it forward and allows it to bear fruit. This is the path that Jesus shows us for freedom and also for life.

May the Lord help us understand this, it's not easy: because the doctors did not understand it, it is not understood only with the head; we understand with our minds and hearts, this wisdom of the anointing of the Holy Spirit which makes us disciples.






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