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04 2021




Pope Francis  The Family in the Light of the Word of God video message       28.04.21     

Amoris Laetitia Family Year 2021 - 2022


Pope Francis The Family and Marriage  28.04.21 Video





Pope Francis General Audience 28.04.21

The meditation

Pope Francis - Meditation - General Audience 28.04.21
Excerpt below, for the full transcript click on the picture link above

Today we will talk about the form of prayer called meditation. For a Christian, to “meditate” is to seek meaning: it implies placing oneself before the immense page of Revelation to try to make it our own, assuming it completely. And the Christian, after having welcomed the Word of God, does not keep it closed up within him or herself, because that Word must be met with “another book”, which the Catechism calls “the book of life”. This is what we try to do every time we meditate on the Word.

The practice of meditation has received a great deal of attention in recent years. It is not only Christians who talk about it: the practice of meditation exists in almost all the world’s religions. But it is also a widespread activity among people who do not have a religious view of life. We all need to meditate, to reflect, to discover ourselves, it is a human dynamic. Especially in the voracious western world, people seek meditation because it represents a high barrier against the daily stress and emptiness that is everywhere. Here, then, is the image of young people and adults sitting in meditation, in silence, with eyes half-closed... But what do these people do, we might ask? They meditate. It is a phenomenon to be looked on favourably: in fact, we are not made to run all the time, we have an inner life that cannot always be neglected. Meditating is therefore a need for everyone. Meditating, so to say, is like stopping and taking a breath in life. To stop and be still.

Meditating is a necessary human dimension, but meditating in the Christian context - we Christians - goes further: it is a dimension that must not be eradicated. The great door through which the prayer of a baptised person passes - let us remind ourselves once again - is Jesus Christ. For the Christian, meditation enters through the door of Jesus Christ. And the Christian, when he or she prays, does not aspire to full self-transparency, does not seek the deepest centre of the ego. This is legitimate, but the Christian seeks something else. The prayer of the Christian is first of all an encounter with the Other, with a capital “O”: the transcendent encounter with God. If an experience of prayer gives us inner peace, or self-mastery, or clarity about the path to take, these results are, one might say, consequences of the grace of Christian prayer, which is the encounter with Jesus. That is, meditating means going - guided by a phrase from the Scripture, from a word - to the encounter with Jesus within us.

Christian meditation is not possible without the Holy Spirit. It is he who guides us to the encounter with Jesus. 

A person does not pray only with the mind; the entire person prays, the person in his or her entirety, just as one does not pray only with one’s feelings. No, everything. The ancients used to say that the part of the body that prays is the heart, and thus they explained that the whole person, starting from the centre - the heart - enters into a relationship with God, not just a few faculties. It must always be remembered that the method is a path, not a goal: any method of prayer. The methods of meditation are paths to travel to arrive at the encounter with Jesus, but if you stop on the road, and just look at the path, you will never find Jesus. You will make a “god” out of the path.

There is no aspect of his divine-human person that cannot become a place of salvation and happiness for us. Every moment of Jesus' earthly life, through the grace of prayer, can become immediate to us, thanks to the Holy Spirit, the guide. We take the Gospel, and meditate on those mysteries in the Gospel, and the Spirit guides us to being present there. For us Christians, meditating is a way of coming into contact with Jesus. And in this way, only in this way, we discover ourselves. And this is not a withdrawal into ourselves, no, no: it means going to Jesus, and from Jesus, discovering ourselves, healed, risen, strong by the grace of Jesus. And encountering Jesus, the Saviour of all, myself included. And this, thanks to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Thank you.








Pope Francis Regina Caeli 25.04.21

Good Shepherd Sunday

Pope Francis Good Shepherd Sunday 25.04.21
Excerpt below, for the full transcript click on the picture link above

On this Fourth Sunday of Easter, called Good Shepherd Sunday, the Gospel (Jn 10:11-18) presents Jesus as the true shepherd who defends, knows and loves his sheep.

The “mercenary” is the opposite of the Good Shepherd, the one who does not care about the sheep because they are not his. He does the job only for pay and is not concerned about defending them: when a wolf arrives, he flees and abandons them (cf vv. 12-13). Instead, Jesus, the true shepherd, defends us always and saves us from so many difficult situations, dangerous situations through the light of his word and the strength of his presence that we always experience if we want to listen, every day.

The second aspect is that Jesus, the good shepherd, knows – the first aspect: defend; the second: he knows his sheep and the sheep know Him (v. 14). How beautiful and consoling it is to know that Jesus knows us one by one, that we are not unknown to Him, that our name is known to him! We are not a “mass”, a “multitude” for Him, no. We are unique individuals, each with his or her own story, he knows us with our own story, each with his or her own value, both because they have been created and have been redeemed by Christ. Each of us can say: Jesus, knows me! Each one of us: Jesus knows me! It is true, it is like this: He knows us like no other. Only He knows what is in our hearts, our intentions, our most hidden feelings. Jesus knows our strengths and our defects, and is always ready to care for us, to heal the wounds of our errors with the abundance of his mercy. In Him, the image the prophets had provided of the shepherd of the people of God is completely fulfilled: Jesus is concerned about his sheep, he gathers them, he binds their wounds, he heals their ailments. We can read this in Book of the Prophet Ezekiel (cf Ez 34:11-16).

Therefore, Jesus the Good Shepherd defends, knows, and above all loves his sheep. And this is why He gives His life for them (cf Jn 10:15). Love for his sheep, that is, for each one of us, would lead him to die on the cross. For this is the Father’s will – that no one should be lost. Christ’s love is not selective; it embraces everyone. He Himself reminds us of this in today’s Gospel when he says: “And I have other sheep, that are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will heed my voice. So there shall be one flock, one shepherd” (Jn 10:16). These words testify to his universal concern: He is everyone’s shepherd. Jesus wants everyone to be able to receive the Father’s love and encounter God.

And the Church is called to carry on this mission of Christ. Beyond those who participate in our communities, there is the majority, many people, who do so only at particular moments or never. But this does not mean they are not God’s children: the Father entrusts everyone to Jesus the Good Shepherd, and he gave his life for everyone.

Brothers and sisters, Jesus defends, knows and loves us, everyone. May Mary Most Holy help us to be the first to welcome and follow the Good Shepherd, to cooperate in the joy of his mission.







Pope Francis Video Message for Earth Day

22.04.21

Pope Francis Earth Day Video Message 22.04.21

Brothers and sisters,

On this Earth Day commemoration, it is always good to recall that the things that we have been saying to one another for a while must not fall into oblivion. For some time now we have been becoming more aware that nature deserves to be protected, if only because human interactions with God's [God-given] biodiversity must take place with the utmost care and respect: caring for biodiversity, caring for nature. And we have learnt this more clearly in this pandemic. The pandemic has also shown us what happens when the world stops, pauses, even for a few months, and the powerful impact that this has on nature and climate change, in a sadly positive way, has it not? In other words, it hurts.

And this shows us that nature, globally, needs our lives on this planet. It involves us all, albeit in many different and unequivocal forms; and so it teaches us even more about what we need to do to create a fair, equitable, environmentally safe planet.

In short, the Covid pandemic taught us about this interdependence, this sharing of the planet. And both global catastrophes, Covid and climate change, show that there is no time to lose. Time is pressing and, as Covid-19 taught us, yes, we have the means to rise up to the challenge. We have the means. It is time to act, we are at the limit.

I would like to repeat an old Spanish saying: “God always forgives, we humans forgive from time to time, nature no longer forgives”. And when this destruction of nature is triggered, it is very difficult to stop it. But we are still in time. And we will be more resilient if we work together instead of doing it alone. The adversity that we are experiencing with the pandemic, and that we already feel in climate change, must spur us on, must drive us to innovation, to invention, to seek new paths. We do not come out of a crisis the same, we come out better or worse. That is the challenge, and if we do not come out of it better, we will be on a path of self-destruction.

May all of you... I also join you in an appeal to all the leaders of the world to act with courage, to act with justice and to always tell people the truth, so that people know how to protect themselves from the destruction of the planet, how to protect the planet from the destruction that we very often trigger.

Thank you for what you do, thank you for the good intentions, thank you for coming together. And best wishes to all [and prosperity to all].






Pope Francis General Audience 21.04.21

The vocal prayer

Pope Francis General Audience 21.04.21
Excerpt below, for the full transcript click on the picture link above

Prayer is dialogue with God; and every creature, in a certain sense, “dialogues" with God. Within the human being, prayer becomes word, invocation, hymn, poetry… The divine Word is made flesh, and in each person’s flesh the word returns to God in prayer.

We create words, but they are also our mothers, and to some extent they shape us. The words of a prayer get us safely through a dark valley, direct us towards green meadows rich in water, and enable us to feast in front of the eyes of an enemy, as the Psalm teaches us (cf. Ps 23). Words are born from feelings, but there is also the reverse path, whereby words shape feelings. The Bible educates people to ensure that everything comes to light through the word, that nothing human is excluded, censored. Above all, pain is dangerous if it stays hidden, closed up within us... Pain closed up within us, that cannot express or give vent to itself, can poison the soul. It is deadly.

This is why Sacred Scripture teaches us to pray, sometimes even with bold words. The sacred writers do not want to deceive us about the human person: they know that our hearts harbour also unedifying feelings, even hatred. None of us are born holy, and when these negative feelings come knocking at the door of our hearts, we must be capable of defusing them with prayer and God's words.

The first human prayer is always a vocal recitation.  The prayer of the heart is mysterious, and at certain times it is lacking. Instead, the prayer of the lips that which is whispered or recited chorally is always accessible, and is as necessary as manual labour. 

We all have something to learn from the perseverance of the Russian pilgrim, mentioned in a famous work on spirituality, who learned the art of prayer by repeating the same invocation over and over again: “Jesus Christ, Son of God, Lord, have mercy on us, sinners!”

Therefore, we must not disregard vocal prayer. One might say, “Ah, this is for children, for ignorant folk; I am seeking mental prayer, meditation, the inner void so that God might come to me…” Please! Do not succumb to the pride of scorning vocal prayer. It is the prayer of the simple, the prayer that Jesus taught: Our Father, who is in heaven… The words we speak take us by the hand; at times they restore flavour, they awaken even the sleepiest of hearts; they reawaken feelings we had forgotten. And they lead us by the hand towards the experience of God, these words… And above all, they are the only ones that, in a sure way, direct to God the questions he wants to hear. Jesus did not leave us in a fog. He told us: “Pray then like this”. And he taught the Lord's Prayer (cf. Mt 6:9).







Pope Francis Regina Caeli 18.04.21

Christian life

Pope Francis - Christian Life - Regina Caeli  18.04.21
Excerpt below, for the full transcript click on the picture link above

On this Third Sunday of Easter, we return to Jerusalem, in the Cenacle, as guided by the two disciples of Emmaus, who had listened with great emotion to Jesus’ words along the way and then had recognized him “in the breaking of the bread” (Lk 24:35). Now, in the Cenacle, the Risen Christ presents himself in the midst of the group of disciples and greets: “Peace to you!” (v. 36). But they are frightened and believe “that they saw a spirit” (v. 37), as the Gospel says. Then Jesus shows them the wounds in his body and says: “See my hands and my feet” – the wounds – “that it is I myself; handle me” (v. 39). And to convince them, he asks for food and eats it before their astonished eyes (cf. vv. 41-42).

There is a detail here, in this description. The Gospel says that the Apostles “they still disbelieved for joy”. The joy they had was such that they could not believe that this was true. And a second detail: they were bewildered, astonished; astonished because the encounter with God always leads you to astonishment: it goes beyond enthusiasm, beyond joy; it is another experience. And they were joyful, but a joy that made them think: no, this cannot be true!... It is the astonishment of God’s presence. Do not forget this frame of mind, which is so beautiful.

Three very concrete verbs characterize this Gospel passage. In a certain sense, they reflect our individual and community life: to look, to touch and to eat. Three actions that can give joy from a true encounter with the living Jesus.

To look. “See my hands and my feet”, Jesus says. To look is not only to see, it is more; it also involves intention, will. For this reason, it is one of the verbs of love. A mother and father look at their child; lovers gaze at each other; a good doctor looks at the patient carefully…. Looking is a first step against indifference, against the temptation to look the other way before the difficulties and sufferings of others. To look. Do I see or look at Jesus?

The second verb is to touch. By inviting the disciples to touch him, to verify that he is not a ghost – touch me! – Jesus indicates to them and to us that the relationship with Him and with our brothers and sisters cannot remain “at a distance”. Christianity does not exist at a distance; Christianity does not exist only at the level of looking. Love requires looking and it also requires closeness; it requires contact, the sharing of life. The Good Samaritan did not limit himself to looking at that man whom he found half dead along the road: he stopped, he bent down, he treated his wounds, he touched him, he loaded him on his mount and took him to the inn. And it is the same with Jesus himself: loving him means entering into a communion of life, a communion with Him.

And thus, we come to the third verb, to eat, which clearly expresses our humanity in its most natural poverty, that is, our need to nourish ourselves in order to live. But eating, when we do so together, among family or friends, also becomes an expression of love, an expression of communion, of celebration…. How often the Gospels present Jesus to us who experiences this convivial dimension! Even as the Risen One, with his disciples. To the point that the Eucharistic Banquet has become the emblematic sign of the Christian community. Eating together the Body of Christ: this is the core of Christian life.

Brothers and sisters, this Gospel passage tells us that Jesus is not a “ghost”, but a living Person; that when Jesus draws near to us he fills us with joy, to the point of disbelief, and he leaves us bewildered, with that astonishment that only God’s presence gives, because Jesus is a living Person.

Being Christian is not first of all a doctrine or a moral ideal; it is a living relationship with Him, with the Risen Lord: we look at him, we touch him, we are nourished by Him and, transformed by his Love, we look at, touch and nourish others as brothers and sisters. May the Virgin Mary help us to live this experience of grace.








Pope Francis General Audience 14.04.21

The Church - teacher of prayer

Pope Francis - Prayer and the Church  14.04.21
Excerpt below, for the full transcript click on the picture link above

The Church is a great school of prayer.

The life of a parish and every Christian community is marked by liturgical moments and moments of community prayer. The garment of faith is not starched, but develops with us; it is not rigid, it grows, even through moments of crisis and resurrection. Actually, there is no growth without moments of crisis because crises make you grow. Experiencing crisis is a necessary way to grow. And the breath of faith is prayer. After certain passages in life, we become aware that without faith we could not have made it and that our strength was prayer – not only personal prayer, but also that of our brothers and sisters, and of the community that accompanied and supported us, of the people who know us, of the people we ask to pray for us.

For this reason, too, communities and groups dedicated to prayer flourish in the Church. Some Christians even feel the call to make prayer the primary action of their day. There are monasteries, convents, hermitages in the Church where persons consecrated to God live. They often become centres of spiritual light. They are centres of community prayer that radiate spirituality. They are small oases in which intense prayer is shared and fraternal communion is constructed day by day. They are cells that are vital not only for the ecclesial fabric, but that of society itself. 

When the Enemy, the Evil One, wants to combat the Church, he does so first by trying to drain her fonts, hindering them from praying. Changes in the Church without prayer are not changes made by the Church. 

The lamp of faith will always be lit on earth as long as there is the oil of prayer. The question that we Christians need to ask ourselves is: Do I pray? Do we pray? How do I pray? Like parrots or do I pray with my heart? How do I pray? Do I pray, certain that I am in the Church and that I pray with the Church? Or do I pray a bit according to my ideas and then make my ideas become prayer? This is a pagan prayer, not Christian. 

And this is the Church’s essential task: to pray and to teach how to pray. To transmit the lamp of faith and the oil of prayer from generation to generation. 





Pope Francis Holy Mass 11.04.21

Divine Mercy Sunday

Pope Francis Homily for Divine Mercy Sunday 11.04.21
Excerpt below, for the full transcript click on the picture link above

The risen Jesus appeared to the disciples on several occasions. He patiently soothed their troubled hearts. Risen himself, he now brings about “the resurrection of the disciples”. He raises their spirits and their lives are changed. Earlier, the Lord’s words and his example had failed to change them. Now, at Easter, something new happens, and it happens in the light of mercy. Jesus raises them up with mercy. Having received that mercy, they become merciful in turn. It is hard to be merciful without the experience of having first received mercy.

First, they receive mercy through three gifts. First, Jesus offers them peace, then the Spirit and finally his wounds. The disciples were upset. They were locked away for fear, fear of being arrested and ending up like the Master. But they were not only huddled together in a room; they were also trapped in their own remorse. They had abandoned and denied Jesus. They felt helpless, discredited, good for nothing. Jesus arrives and says to them twice, “Peace be with you!” He does not bring a peace that removes the problems without, but one that infuses trust within. It is no outward peace, but peace of heart. He tells them “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, even so I send you” (Jn 20:21). It is as if to say, “I am sending you because I believe in you”. Those disheartened disciples were put at peace with themselves. The peace of Jesus made them pass from remorse to mission. The peace of Jesus awakens mission. It entails not ease and comfort, but the challenge to break out of ourselves. The peace of Jesus frees from the self-absorption that paralyzes; it shatters the bonds that keep the heart imprisoned. The disciples realized that they had been shown mercy: they realized that God did not condemn or demean them, but instead believed in them. God, in fact, believes in us even more than we believe in ourselves.  As far as God is concerned, no one is useless, discredited or a castaway. Today Jesus also tells us, “Peace be with you! You are precious in my eyes. Peace be with you! You are important for me. Peace be with you! You have a mission. No one can take your place. You are irreplaceable. And I believe in you”.

Second, Jesus showed mercy to his disciples by granting them the Holy Spirit. He bestowed the Spirit for the forgiveness of sins. The disciples were guilty; they had run away, they had abandoned the Master. Sin brings torment; evil has its price. Our sin, as the Psalmist says (cf. 51:5), is always before us. Of ourselves, we cannot remove it. Only God takes it away, only he by his mercy can make us emerge from the depths of our misery. Like those disciples, we need to let ourselves be forgiven, to ask heartfelt pardon of the Lord. We need to open our hearts to being forgiven. Forgiveness in the Holy Spirit is the Easter gift that enables our interior resurrection. Let us ask for the grace to accept that gift, to embrace the Sacrament of forgiveness. And to understand that Confession is not about ourselves and our sins, but about God and his mercy. Let us not confess to abase ourselves, but to be raised up. We, all of us, need this badly. Like little children who, whenever they fall, need to be picked up by their fathers, we need this. We too fall frequently. And the hand of our Father is ready to set us on our feet again and to make us keep walking. That sure and trustworthy hand is Confession. Confession is the sacrament that lifts us up; it does not leave us on the ground, weeping on the hard stones where we have fallen. Confession is the Sacrament of resurrection, pure mercy. All those who hear confessions ought to convey the sweetness of mercy. This is what confessors are meant to do: to convey the sweetness of the mercy of Jesus who forgives everything. God forgives everything.

Together with the peace that rehabilitates us and the forgiveness that lifts us up, Jesus gave his disciples a third gift of mercy: he showed them his wounds. By those wounds we were healed (cf. 1 Pet 2:24; Is 53:5). But how can wounds heal us? By mercy. In those wounds, like Thomas, we can literally touch the fact that God has loved us to the end. He has made our wounds his own and borne our weaknesses in his own body. His wounds are open channels between him and us, shedding mercy upon our misery. His wounds are the pathways that God has opened up for us to enter into his tender love and actually “touch” who he is. Let us never again doubt his mercy. In adoring and kissing his wounds, we come to realize that in his tender love all our weaknesses are accepted. This happens at every Mass, where Jesus offers us his wounded and risen Body. We touch him and he touches our lives. He makes heaven come down to us. His radiant wounds dispel the darkness we carry within. This is the starting-point of our Christian journey. But if we trust in our own abilities, in the efficiency of our structures and projects, we will not go far. Only if we accept the love of God, will we be able to offer something new to the world.

And that is what the disciples did: receiving mercy, they in turn became merciful. We see this in the first reading. The Acts of the Apostles relate that “no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common” (4:32). This is not communism, but pure Christianity. It is all the more surprising when we think that those were the same disciples who had earlier argued about prizes and rewards, and about who was the greatest among them (cf. Mt 10:37; Lk 22:24). Now they share everything; they are “of one heart and soul”” (Acts 4:32). How did they change like that? They now saw in others the same mercy that had changed their own lives. They discovered that they shared the mission, the forgiveness and the Body of Jesus, and so it seemed natural to share their earthly possessions. The text continues: “There was not a needy person among them” (v. 34). Their fears had been dispelled by touching the Lord’s wounds, and now they are unafraid to heal the wounds of those in need. Because there they see Jesus. Because Jesus is there, in the wounds of those in need.

Dear sister, dear brother, do you want proof that God has touched your life? See if you can stoop to bind the wounds of others. Today is the day to ask, “Am I, who so often have received God’s peace, his mercy, merciful to others? Do I, who have so often been fed by the Body of Jesus, make any effort to relieve the hunger of the poor?” Let us not remain indifferent. Let us not live a one-way faith, a faith that receives but does not give, a faith that accepts the gift but does not give it in return. Having received mercy, let us now become merciful. For if love is only about us, faith becomes arid, barren and sentimental. Without others, faith becomes disembodied. Without works of mercy, it dies (cf. James 2:17). Dear brothers and sisters, let us be renewed by the peace, forgiveness and wounds of the merciful Jesus. Let us ask for the grace to become witnesses of mercy. Only in this way will our faith be alive and our lives unified. Only in this way will we proclaim the Gospel of God, which is the Gospel of mercy.









Pope Francis General Audience 07.04.21

Praying in communion with the Saints

Pope Francis   General Audience  07.04.21
Excerpt below, for the full transcript click on the picture link above

Today, I would like to reflect on the connection between prayer and the communion of saints. In fact, when we pray, we never do so alone: even if we do not think about it, we are immersed in a majestic river of invocations that precedes us and proceeds after us.

Contained in the prayers we find in the Bible, that often resound in the liturgy, are the traces of ancient stories, of prodigious liberations, of deportations and sad exiles, of emotional returns, of praise ringing out before the wonders of creation… And thus, these voices are passed on from generation to generation, in a continual intertwining between personal experience and that of the people and the humanity to which we belong. We always bear in our attitudes this inheritance, even in the way we pray. 

Each time we join our hands and open our hearts to God, we find ourselves in the company of anonymous saints and recognized saints who pray with us and who intercede for us as older brothers and sisters who have preceded us on this same human adventure. There is no grief in the Church that is borne in solitude, there are no tears shed in oblivion, because everyone breaths and participates in one common grace. It is no coincidence that in the ancient church people were buried in gardens surrounding a sacred building, as if to say that, in some way, the hosts of those who have preceded us participate in every Eucharist. Our parents and grandparents are there, our godfathers and godmothers are there, our catechists and other teachers are there… The faith that is passed on, transmitted, that we have received. Along with faith, the way of praying and prayer have been transmitted.

The saints are still here not far from us. The saints remind us that even in our lives, however weak and marked by sin, holiness can unfold. Even at the last moment. 

The Catechism explains that the saints contemplate God, praise him and constantly care for those whom they have left on earth. Their intercession is their most exalted service to God’s plan. We can and should ask them to intercede for us and for the whole world” (CCC, 2683). There is a mysterious solidarity in Christ between those who have already passed to the other life and we pilgrims in this one: from Heaven, our beloved deceased continue to take care of us. They pray for us, and we pray for them and we pray with them.

We pray for each other, we make requests and offer prayers…. The first way to pray for someone is to speak to God about him or her. If we do this frequently, each day, our hearts are not closed but open to our brothers and sisters. To pray for others is the first way to love them and it moves us toward concretely drawing near. Even in conflictual moments, a way of dissolving the conflict, of softening it, is to pray for the person with whom I am in conflict. And something changes with prayer. The first thing that changes is my heart and my attitude. The Lord changes it so it might be turned into an encounter, a new encounter so that that the conflict does not become a never-ending war.

The first way to face a time of anguish is by asking our brothers and sisters, the saints above all, to pray for us. The name given to us at Baptism is not a label or a decoration! It is usually the name of the Virgin, or a Saint, who expect nothing other than to “give us a hand” in life, to give us a hand to obtain the grace from God that we need. If the trials of life have not reached the breaking point, if we are still capable of persevering, if despite everything we proceed trustingly, more than due to our own merits, perhaps we owe all this to the intercession of all the saints, some who are in Heaven, others who are pilgrims like us on earth, who have protected and accompanied us, because all of us know there are holy people here on this earth, saintly men and women who live in holiness. They do not know it; neither do we know it. But there are saints, everyday saints, hidden saints, or as I like to say, “saints who live next door”, those who share their lives with us, who work with us and live a life of holiness.

Therefore, blessed be Jesus Christ, the only Saviour of the world, together with this immense flowering of saintly men and women who populate the earth and who have praised God through their own lives. 






Pope Francis Regina Caeli 05.04.21

The Resurrection

   Pope Francis - He has risen  - Regina Caeli 05.04.2021
Excerpt below, for the full transcript click on the picture link above

The Monday after Easter is also called the Monday of the Angel because we recall the meeting of the angel with the women who arrived at Jesus’s tomb (see Mt 28:1-15). The angel said to them: “I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has risen (vv. 5-6). This expression “He has risen” goes beyond human capacity. Even the women who had gone to the tomb and had found it open and empty could not confirm “He has risen”, but they could only say that the tomb was empty. “He has risen” is a message… Only an angel could say that Jesus had risen, only an angel with the authority to be the bearer of a heavenly message, with the power given by God to say it, just as an angel – only an angel – had been able to say to Mary: “you will conceive a son, [….] and he will be called the Son of the Most High” (Lk 1:31-32). Because of this we call it Monday of the Angel because only an angel with the power of God could say that Jesus had risen.

Matthew the evangelist narrates that on Easter morning “there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone, and sat on it” (see v. 2). That large stone, that was supposed to be the seal of the victory of evil and death, was put underfoot, it became the footstool of the angel of the Lord. All of the plans and defences of Jesus’s enemies and persecutors were in vain. The image of the angel sitting on the stone before the tomb is the concrete manifestation, the visible manifestation of God’s victory over evil, the manifestation of Christ’s victory over the prince of this world, the manifestation of the victory of light over darkness. Jesus’s tomb was not opened by a physical phenomenon, but by the Lord’s intervention. The angel’s appearance, Matthew continues, “was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow. (v. 3). These details are symbols that confirm the intervention of God himself, bearer of a new era, of the last times of history because Jesus’s resurrection initiated the last times of history which can endure thousands of years, but they are the last times.

There is a twofold reaction in beholding this intervention on God’s part. That of the guards who cannot face the overwhelming power of God and are shaken by an interior earthquake: they became like dead men (see v. 4). The power of the Resurrection overthrows those who had been used to guarantee the apparent victory of death. And what did those guards have to do? To go to those who had given them orders to keep guard and to tell the truth. They had a choice to make: either to tell the truth or to allow themselves to be convinced by those who had given them the order to keep guard. And the only way to convince them was money. And those poor people, poor people, sold the truth, and with the money in their pockets they went on to say: “No, the disciples came and robbed the body”. The “Lord” money, even here, in Christ’s resurrection, is capable of having the power to deny it. The women’s reaction is different because they were expressly invited by the angel of the Lord not to be afraid, and in the end, they were not afraid – “Do not be afraid!” (v. 5) – and not to seek Jesus in the tomb.

We can reap a precious teaching from the angel’s words: we should never tire of seeking the risen Christ who gives life in abundance to those who meet him. To find Christ means to discover peace in our hearts. The same women of the Gospel, after initially being shaken – that is understandable – experience great joy in discovering the Master alive (see vv. 8-9). In this Easter Season, my wish is that everyone might have the same spiritual experience, welcoming in our hearts, in our homes and in our families the joyful proclamation of Easter: “Christ, having risen from the dead dies now no more; death will no longer have dominion over him” (Communion Antiphon). The Easter proclamation, Christ is alive, Christ accompanies my life, Christ is beside me. Christ knocks at the door of my heart so you can let him in, Christ is alive. In these days of Easter, it would be good for us to repeat this: the Lord is alive.

This certainty moves us to pray today and throughout the Easter Season: “Regina Caeli, Laetare – that is, Queen of Heaven, rejoice”. The angel Gabriel had greeted her thus the first time: “Rejoice, full of grace!” (see Lk 1:28). Now Mary’s joy is complete: Jesus lives, Love has conquered. May this be our joy as well!






Pope Francis Urbi et Orbi Easter Message 04.04.21


Pope Francis  Easter Urbi et Orbi 04.04.21
Excerpt below, for the full transcript click on the picture link above

Dear Brothers and Sisters, a good, happy and peaceful Easter!

Today, throughout the world, the Church’s proclamation resounds: “Jesus, who was crucified, has risen as he said. Alleluia!”

The Easter message does not offer us a mirage or reveal a magic formula. It does not point to an escape from the difficult situation we are experiencing. The pandemic is still spreading, while the social and economic crisis remains severe, especially for the poor. Nonetheless – and this is scandalous – armed conflicts have not ended and military arsenals are being strengthened. That is today’s scandal.

In the face of, or better, in the midst of this complex reality, the Easter message speaks concisely of the event that gives us the hope that does not disappoint: “Jesus who was crucified has risen”. It speaks to us not about angels or ghosts, but about a man, a man of flesh and bone, with a face and a name: Jesus. The Gospel testifies that this Jesus, crucified under Pontius Pilate for claiming he was the Christ, the Son of God, rose on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, just as he had foretold to his disciples.

Jesus took upon himself our weakness, our infirmities, even our death. He endured our sufferings and bore the weight of our sins. Because of this, God the Father exalted him and now Jesus Christ lives forever; he is the Lord.

The risen Christ is hope for all who continue to suffer from the pandemic, both the sick and those who have lost a loved one. May the Lord give them comfort and sustain the valiant efforts of doctors and nurses. Vaccines are an essential tool in this fight. I urge the entire international community, in a spirit of global responsibility, to commit to overcoming delays in the distribution of vaccines and to facilitate their distribution, especially in the poorest countries.

The crucified and risen Lord is comfort for those who have lost their jobs or experience serious economic difficulties and lack adequate social protection. May he inspire public authorities to act so that everyone, especially families in greatest need, will be offered the assistance needed for a decent standard of living.

The risen Jesus is also hope for all those young people forced to go long periods without attending school or university, or spending time with their friends. 

May the light of the risen Jesus be a source of rebirth for migrants fleeing from war and extreme poverty. 

There are still too many wars and too much violence in the world! 

Dear brothers and sisters, once again this year, in various places many Christians have celebrated Easter under severe restrictions and, at times, without being able to attend liturgical celebrations. We pray that those restrictions, as well as all restrictions on freedom of worship and religion worldwide, may be lifted and everyone be allowed to pray and praise God freely.

In embracing the cross, Jesus bestowed meaning on our sufferings and now we pray that the benefits of that healing will spread throughout the world. A good, happy and serene Easter to all of you!






Pope Francis Easter Vigil 03.04.21

Holy Saturday

Pope Francis Easter Vigil 03.04.21
Excerpt below, for the full transcript click on the picture link above

The women thought they would find a body to anoint; instead they found an empty tomb. They went to mourn the dead; instead they heard a proclamation of life. For this reason, the Gospel tells us, the women “were seized with trembling and amazement” (Mk 16:8); they were filled with trembling, fear and amazement. Amazement. A fear mingled with joy that took their hearts by surprise when they saw the great stone before the tomb rolled away and inside a young man in a white robe. Wonder at hearing the words: “Do not be afraid! You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen” (v. 6). And a message: “He is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him” (v. 7). May we too accept this message, the message of Easter. Let us go to Galilee, where the Risen Lord has gone ahead of us. Yet what does it mean “to go to Galilee”?

To go to Galilee means, first, to begin anew. For the disciples it meant going back to the place where the Lord first sought them out and called them to follow him. The place of their first encounter and the place of their first love. From that moment on, leaving their nets behind, they followed Jesus, listening to his preaching and witnessing the miracles he performed. Yet, though they were always with him, they did not fully understand him. Frequently they misunderstood his words and in the face of the cross they abandoned him and fled. Even so, the Risen Lord once more appears as the one who goes ahead of them to Galilee. He says to them: “Let us start over from where we began. Let us begin anew. I want you to be with me again, in spite of everything”. In this Galilee, we learn to be amazed by the Lord’s infinite love, which opens new trails along the path of our defeats.

This is the first Easter message that I would offer you: it is always possible to begin anew, because there is always a new life that God can awaken in us in spite of all our failures. From the rubble of our hearts – and each one of us knows the rubble of our hearts – God can create a work of art; from the ruined remnants of our humanity, God can prepare a new history. He never ceases to go ahead of us: in the cross of suffering, desolation and death, and in the glory of a life that rises again, a history that changes, a hope that is reborn. In these dark months of the pandemic, let us listen to the Risen Lord as he invites us to begin anew and never lose hope.

Going to Galilee also means setting out on new paths. It means walking away from the tomb. The women were looking for Jesus in the tomb; they went to recall what they had experienced with him, which was now gone forever. They went to indulge in their grief. There is a kind of faith that can become the memory of something once beautiful, now simply to be recalled. Many people – including us – experience such a “faith of memories”, as if Jesus were someone from the past, an old friend from their youth who is now far distant, an event that took place long ago, when they attended catechism as a child. A faith made up of habits, things from the past, lovely childhood memories, but no longer a faith that moves me, or challenges me. Going to Galilee, on the other hand, means realizing that faith, if it is to be alive, must get back on the road. Let us go to Galilee, then, to discover that God cannot be filed away among our childhood memories, but is alive and filled with surprises. Risen from the dead, Jesus never ceases to amaze us.

This, then, is the second message of Easter: faith is not an album of past memories; Jesus is not outdated. He is alive here and now. He walks beside you each day, in every situation you are experiencing, in every trial you have to endure, in your deepest hopes and dreams. He opens new doors when you least expect it, he urges you not to indulge in nostalgia for the past or cynicism about the present. Even if you feel that all is lost, please, let yourself be open to amazement at the newness Jesus brings: he will surely surprise you.

Going to Galilee also means going to the peripheries. Galilee was an outpost: the people living in that diverse and disparate region were those farthest from the ritual purity of Jerusalem. Yet that is where Jesus began his mission. There he brought his message to those struggling to live from day to day, the excluded, the vulnerable and the poor. There he brought the face and presence of God, who tirelessly seeks out those who are discouraged or lost, who goes to the very peripheries of existence, since in his eyes no one is least, no one is excluded. The Risen Lord is asking his disciples to go there even now: he asks us to go to Galilee, to the real “Galilee” of daily life, the streets we travel every day, the corners of our cities. There the Lord goes ahead of us and makes himself present in the lives of those around us, those who share in our day, our home, our work, our difficulties and hopes. In Galilee we learn that we can find the Risen One in the faces of our brothers and sisters, in the enthusiasm of those who dream and the resignation of those who are discouraged, in the smiles of those who rejoice and the tears of those who suffer, and above all in the poor and those on the fringes.

Dear sister, dear brother: if on this night you are experiencing an hour of darkness, a day that has not yet dawned, a light dimmed or a dream shattered, go, open your heart with amazement to the message of Easter: “Do not be afraid, he has risen! He awaits you in Galilee”. Your expectations will not remain unfulfilled, your tears will be dried, your fears will be replaced by hope. For the Lord always goes ahead of you, he always walks before you. And, with him, life always begins anew.








Pope Francis  Good Friday 02.04.21

The Way of the Cross


Pope Francis  The Way of the Cross 02.04.21



Pope Francis The Way of the Cross - Meditations - 02.04.21





Pope Francis Good Friday 02.04.21

Celebration of the Passion of the Lord


Pope Francis Good Friday Celebration of the Passion of the Lord 02.04.21





Pope Francis Holy Chrism Mass 01.04.21

Holy Thursday

Pope Francis Chrism Mass 01.04.2021

Excerpt below, for the full transcript click on the picture link above

The Gospel shows us a change of heart among the people who were listening to the Lord. The change was dramatic, and it reveals the extent to which persecution and the cross are linked to the proclamation of the Gospel. The admiration aroused by the grace-filled words spoken by Jesus did not last long in the minds of the people of Nazareth. A comment that someone murmured went insidiously viral: “Is not this Joseph’s son?” (Lk 4:22).
It was one of those ambiguous expressions that are blurted out in passing. One person can use it approvingly to say: “How wonderful that someone of such humble origin speaks with this authority!” Someone else can use it to say in scorn: “And this one, where did he come from? Who does he think he is?” If we think about it, we can hear the same words spoken on the day of Pentecost, when the apostles, filled with the Holy Spirit, began to preach the Gospel. Some said: “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans?” (Acts 2:7). While some received the word, others merely thought that the apostles were drunk.

Strictly speaking, those words spoken in Nazareth might go either way, but if we look at what followed, it is clear that they contained a seed of violence that would then be unleashed against Jesus.

They were “words of justification” as for example, when someone says: “That is altogether too much!” and then either attacks the other person or walks away.

This time, the Lord, who at times said nothing or simply walked away, did not let the comment pass. Instead, he laid bare the malevolence concealed in the guise of simple village gossip. “You will quote me the proverb: ‘Physician, heal yourself’. What we have heard that you did in Capernaum, do here also in your own country!” (Lk 4:23). “Heal yourself…”

“Let him save himself”. There is the poison! Those same words will follow the Lord to the cross: “He saved others, let him save himself” (Lk 23:35). “And save us”, one of the thieves will add (cf. v. 39).

As always, the Lord refuses to dialogue with the evil spirit; he only replies in the words of Scripture. The prophets Elijah and Elisha, for their part, were accepted not by their own countrymen but by a Phoenician widow and a Syrian who had contracted leprosy: two foreigners, two people of another religion. 

Jesus’ words have the power to bring to light whatever each of us holds in the depths of our heart, often mixed like the wheat and the tares. And this gives rise to spiritual conflict. In this case, Jesus’ words were not accepted and this made the enraged crowd attempt to kill him.

It was not his hour, yet the swiftness with which the crowd’s fury was unleashed, and the ferocity of a rage prepared to kill the Lord on the spot, shows us that it is always his hour. That is what I would like to share with you today, dear priests: that the hour of joyful proclamation, the hour of persecution and the hour of the cross go together.

The preaching of the Gospel is always linked to the embrace of some particular cross. The gentle light of God’s word shines brightly in well-disposed hearts, but awakens confusion and rejection in those that are not. We see this over and over again in the Gospels.

The good seed sown in the field bears fruit – a hundred, sixty and thirty-fold – but it also arouses the envy of the enemy, who is driven to sow weeds during the night (cf. Mt 13:24-30.36-43).

The tender love of the merciful father irresistibly draws the prodigal son home, but also leads to anger and resentment on the part of the elder son (cf. Lk 15:11-32).

All this, dear brother priests, enables us to see that the preaching of the Good News is mysteriously linked to persecution and the cross.

There is an aspect of the cross that is an integral part of our human condition, our limits and our frailty. The serpent, who, seeing the crucified Lord defenceless, bites him in an attempt to poison and undo all his work. A bite that tries to scandalize – and this is an era of scandals – a bite that seeks to disable and render futile and meaningless all service and loving sacrifice for others. It is the venom of the evil one who keeps insisting: save yourself.

It is true that the cross is present in our preaching of the Gospel, but it is the cross of our salvation. Thanks to the reconciling blood of Jesus, it is a cross that contains the power of Christ’s victory, which conquers evil and delivers us from the evil one. To embrace it with Jesus and, as he did before us, to go out and preach it, will allow us to discern and reject the venom of scandal, with which the devil wants to poison us whenever a cross unexpectedly appears in our lives.