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06 2021




Pope Francis Angelus 20.06.21

the storm calmed by Jesus

Pope Francis Angelus  20.06.21  The Trials of Life
Excerpt below, for the full transcript click on the picture link above

In today’s liturgy the episode of the storm calmed by Jesus (Mk 4:35-41) is told. The boat on which the disciples are crossing the lake is beaten by the wind and waves and they are afraid they will sink. Jesus is with them on the boat, yet he is in the stern asleep on the cushion. The disciples, filled with fear, cry out to him: “Teacher, do you not care if we perish?” (v. 38).

And quite often we too, beaten by the trials of life, have cried out to the Lord: “Why do you remain silent and do nothing for me?”. Especially when it seems we are sinking, because of love or the project in which we have laid great hopes disappears; or when we are at the mercy of the unrelenting waves of anxiety; or when we feel we are drowning in problems or lost in the middle of the sea of life, with no course and no harbour. Or even, in the moments in which the strength to go forward fails us, because we have no job, or an unexpected diagnosis makes us fear for our health or that of a loved one. There are many moments in which we feel we are in a storm; we feel we are almost done in.

In these situations and in many others, we too feel suffocated by fear and, like the disciples, risk losing sight of the most important thing. On the boat, in fact, even if he is sleeping, Jesus is there, and he shares with his own all that is happening. His slumber, on the one hand surprises us, yet on the other it puts us to the test. The Lord is there, present; indeed, he waits – so to speak – for us to engage him, to invoke him, to put him at the centre of what we are experiencing. His slumber causes us to wake up. Because to be disciples of Jesus it is not enough to believe God is there, that he exists, but we must put ourselves out there with him; we must also raise our voice with him. Listen to this: we must cry out to him. Prayer, many times, is a cry: “Lord, save me!”

Today we can ask ourselves: what are the winds that beat against my life? What are the waves that hinder my navigation, and put my spiritual life, my family life, even my mental health in danger? Let us say all this to Jesus; let us tell him everything. He wants this; he wants us to grab hold of him to find shelter from the unexpected waves of life. The Gospel recounts that the disciples approach Jesus, wake him and speak to him (cf. v. 38). This is the beginning of our faith: to recognize that alone we are unable to stay afloat; that we need Jesus like sailors need the stars to find their course. Faith begins from believing that we are not enough in ourselves, from feeling in need of God. When we overcome the temptation to close ourselves off, when we overcome the false religiosity that does not want to disturb God, when we cry out to him, he can work wonders in us. It is the gentle and extraordinary power of prayer, which works miracles.

Jesus, begged by the disciples, calms the wind and waves. And he asks them a question, a question which also pertains to us: “Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?” (v. 40). The disciples were gripped with fear, because they were focused on the waves more than looking at Jesus. And fear leads us to look at the difficulties, the awful problems and not to look at the Lord, who many times is sleeping. It is this way for us too: how often we remain fixated on problems rather than going to the Lord and casting our concerns into him! How often we leave the Lord in a corner, at the bottom of the boat of life, to wake him only in a moment of need! Today, let us ask for the grace of a faith that never tires of seeking the Lord, of knocking at the door of his Heart. May the Virgin Mary, who in her life never stopped trusting in God, reawaken in us the basic need of entrusting ourselves to him each day.







Pope Francis General Audience 16.06.21

The Paschal prayer of Jesus for us

Pope Francis General Audience 16.06.21Excerpt below, for the full transcript click on the picture link above

We have recalled several times in this series of catechesis that prayer is one of the most evident features of the life of Jesus: Jesus prayed, and He prayed a lot. In the course of His mission, Jesus immersed Himself in it, because the dialogue with the father was the incandescent core of all His existence.

The Gospels testify how Jesus' prayer became even more intense and dense at the hour of his passion and death. These culminating events of His life constitute the central core of Christian preaching: those last hours lived by Jesus in Jerusalem are the heart of the Gospel not only because the Evangelists reserve proportionally greater space to this narrative, but also because the event of His death and resurrection - like a flash of lightning - sheds light on the rest of Jesus' life. He was not a philanthropist who took care of human suffering and illness: He was and is much more. In Him there is not only goodness: there is something more, there is salvation, and not an episodic salvation - the type that might save me from an illness or a moment of despair - but total salvation, messianic salvation, that gives hope in the definitive victory of life over death.

In the days of His last Passover, we therefore find Jesus fully immersed in prayer.

He prays dramatically in the garden of Gethsemane, as we heard, assailed by mortal anguish. And yet Jesus, precisely in that moment, addresses God as “Abba”, father (cf. Mk 14:36). This word, in Aramaic, which was Jesus’ language, expresses intimacy, it expresses trust. Just as He feels the darkness gather around Him, Jesus breaks through it with that little word: Abba, father.

Jesus also prays on the cross, obscurely shrouded in the silence of God. And yet once again the word “Father” emerges from His lips. It is the most ardent prayer, because on the cross Jesus is the absolute intercessor: He prays for others, He prays for everyone, even for those who have condemned Him, even though no-one apart from a poor delinquent takes His side. Everyone was against Him or indifferent, only that criminal recognised the power. “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Lk 23:34). In the midst of the drama, in the excruciating pain of soul and body, Jesus prays with the words of the psalms; with the poor of the world, especially those forgotten by all, He pronounces the tragic words of Psalm 22: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (v. 2). He felt abandonment, and He prayed. 

The prayer of Jesus is unique, and is also becomes the model for our prayer. Jesus prayed for everyone: He even prayed for me, for each one of you. Every one of you can say: “Jesus, on the cross, prayed for me”.  Even in the most painful of our sufferings, we are never alone. The prayer of Jesus is with us. He continues to pray so that His word may help us keep going forward. But pray, and remember that He prays for us.

And this seems to me the most beautiful thing to remember. This is the final catechesis of this cycle on prayer: remember the grace that we do not only pray, but that, so to speak, we have been “prayed for”, we have already been received in Jesus’ dialogue with the Father, in communion with the Holy Spirit. Jesus prays for me: each one of us can take this to heart. We must not forget. Even in the worst moments. We are already welcomed into Jesus’ dialogue with the Father in the communion of the Holy Spirit. And so, with prayer and with life, there remains only to have courage and hope, and with this courage and hope, to feel the prayer of Jesus strongly and to keep on going: so that our life may be one of giving glory to God in the knowledge that He prays for me to the Father, that Jesus prays for me.






Pope Francis Message for the 5th World Day of the Poor 13.06.21


Pope Francis Message for the Poor 2021
Excerpt below, for the full text click on the picture link above

The poor are not people “outside” our communities, but brothers and sisters whose sufferings we should share, in an effort to alleviate their difficulties and marginalization, restore their lost dignity and ensure their necessary social inclusion.



Pope Francis Angelus 13.06.21

the little things

Pope Francis Angelus 13.06.21Excerpt below, for the full transcript click on the picture link above

The two parables, which the Liturgy presents us today, – the two parables – are inspired precisely by ordinary life and reveal the attentive and deep gaze of Jesus, who observes reality and, through small everyday images, opens the windows on the mystery of God and on human history. Jesus spoke in a way that was easy to understand; he spoke with images of reality, of everyday life. In this way, he teaches us that even everyday things, which at times all seem the same and which we carry on with distraction or tiredness, are inhabited by God’s hidden presence; that is, they have meaning. So, we too need attentive eyes, to be able “to seek and find God in all things."

Today Jesus compares the Kingdom of God, that is, his presence that dwells in the heart of things and of the world, to the mustard seed, that is, to the smallest seed there is: it is really tiny. Yet, cast upon the ground, it grows until becoming the tallest tree (cf. Mk 4:31-32). This is what God does. At times, the din of the world, along with the many activities that fill our days, prevent us from stopping and seeing how the Lord is conducting history. Yet – the Gospel assures us – God is at work, like a good little seed that silently and slowly germinates. And, little by little, it becomes a lush tree, which gives life and rest to everyone. The seed of our good works too can seem like a small thing, yet all that is good pertains to God, and thus it humbly, slowly bears fruit. Good, let us remember, always grows in a humble way, in a hidden, often invisible way.

Dear brothers and sisters, with this parable Jesus wants to instil us with confidence. In so many of life’s situations, indeed, it may happen that we get discouraged, because we see the weakness of good as compared to the apparent power of evil. And we may allow ourselves to be paralyzed by doubt when we find we are working hard but the results are not achieved, and things seem never to change. The Gospel asks us to take a fresh look at ourselves and at reality; it asks us to have bigger eyes, that are able to see further, especially beyond appearances, in order to discover the presence of God who as humble love is always at work in the soil of our life and that of history. This is our confidence, this is what gives us the strength to go forward every day, patiently, sowing the good that will bear fruit.

How important this attitude also is for coming out of the pandemic well! To cultivate the confidence of being in God’s hands and at the same time for all of us to commit ourselves to rebuilding and starting up again, with patience and perseverance.

In the Church too, weeds of doubt can take root, especially when we witness the crisis of faith and the failure of different projects and initiatives. But let us never forget that the results of sowing do not depend our abilities: they depend on the action of God. It is up to us to sow, and sow with love, with dedication and with patience. But the force of the seed is divine. Jesus explains it in today’s other parable: the farmer sows the seed and then does not realize how it bears fruit, because it is the seed itself that grows spontaneously, day and night, when he least expects it (cf. vv. 26-29). With God in the most infertile soil there is always the hope of new sprouts.

May Mary Most Holy, the Lord’s humble handmaid, teach us to see the greatness of God who works in the little things and to overcome the temptation of discouragement. Let us trust in Him every day!






Pope Francis General Audience 09.06.21

Perseverance in love

Pope Francis General Audience on Prayer 09.06.21
Excerpt below, for the full transcript click on the picture link above

In this penultimate catechesis on prayer we are going to speak about perseverance in praying. It is an invitation, indeed a command that comes to us from Sacred Scripture. The spiritual journey of the Russian pilgrim begins when he comes across a phrase of Saint Paul in the First Letter to the Thessalonians: “Pray constantly, always and for everything give thanks” (5:17-18). The Apostle’s words struck the man and he wondered how it was possible to pray without interruption, given that our lives are fragmented into so many different moments, which do not always make concentration possible. From this question he begins his search, which will lead him to discover what is called the prayer of the heart. It consists in repeating with faith: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner!”. “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner!” A simple prayer, but very beautiful. A prayer that, little by little, adapts itself to the rhythm of breath and extends throughout the day. Indeed, the breath never stops, not even while we sleep; and prayer is the breath of life.

How, then, it is possible always to preserve a state of prayer? 

The heart in prayer. There is therefore an ardour in the Christian life, which must never fail. It is a little like that sacred fire that was kept in the ancient temples, that burned without interruption and which the priests had the task of keeping alive. So there must be a sacred fire in us too, which burns continuously and which nothing can extinguish. And it is not easy. But this is how it must be.

Little prayers: “Lord, have pity on us”, “Lord, help me”. So, prayer is a kind of musical staff, where we inscribe the melody of our lives. It is not in contrast with daily work, it does not contradict the many small obligations and appointments; if anything, it is the place where every action finds its meaning, its reason and its peace. In prayer.

Certainly, putting these principles into practice is not easy. It is good for us to think that God, our Father, who must take care of all the universe, always remembers each one of us. Therefore, we too must always remember Him!

We can also remember that in Christian monasticism work has always been held in great esteem, not only because of the moral duty to provide for oneself and others, but also for a sort of balance, an inner balance.

Everything in the human being is “binary”: our body is symmetrical, we have two arms, two eyes, two hands… And so, work and prayer are also complementary. Prayer - which is the “breath” of everything - remains as the living backdrop of work, even in moments in which this is not explicit. It is inhuman to be so absorbed by work that you can no longer find the time for prayer.

At the same time, a prayer that is alien from life is not healthy. A prayer that alienates itself from the concreteness of life becomes spiritualism, or worse, ritualism. The time dedicated to staying with God revive faith, which helps us in the practicalities of living, and faith, in turn, nurtures prayer, without interruption. In this circularity between faith, life and prayer, one keeps alight that flame of Christian life that God expects of us.

And let us repeat the simple prayer that it is so good to repeat during the day. “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner!”. Saying this prayer continually will help you in the union with Jesus. Thank you.






Pope Francis Holy Mass 06.06.21 

on the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

Pope Francis Holy Mass - Corpus Christi 06.06.2021
Excerpt below, for the full transcript click on the picture link above

Jesus sends his disciples to prepare the place where they will celebrate the Passover meal. They themselves had asked: “Where do you want us to go and make the preparations for you to eat the Passover?” (Mk 14:12). As we contemplate and worship the Lord’s presence in the Eucharistic Bread, we too should ask where, in what “place”, we want to prepare the Lord’s Passover. What are the “places” in our own lives that God is asking to be our guest? I would like to answer these questions by reflecting on three images from the Gospel we just heard (Mk 14:12-16, 22-26).

The first is that of the man carrying a pitcher of water (cf. v. 13). This might seem like a superfluous detail. Yet that nameless man became the guide who would bring the disciples to the place later known as the Upper Room. The pitcher of water is the sign by which they recognize him. It is a sign that makes us think of our human family, a thirst, constantly seeking a source of water to slake its thirst and to bring refreshment. All of us walk through life with pitcher in hand: all of us thirst for love, for joy, for a fulfilling life in a more humane world. To sate this thirst, the water of worldly things is of no avail. For ours is a deeper thirst, a thirst that God alone can satisfy.

To celebrate the Eucharist, we need first to recognize our thirst for God, to sense our need for him, to long for his presence and love, to realize that we cannot go it alone, but need the Food and Drink of eternal life to sustain us on our journey. The tragedy of the present time – we can say – is that this thirst is felt less and less. Questions about God are no longer asked, desire for God has faded, seekers of God have become increasingly rare. God no longer attracts us because we no longer acknowledge our deep thirst for him. Yet wherever there is a man or a woman with a pitcher for water there the Lord can reveal himself as the One who bestows new life, nurtures our dreams and aspirations with sure hope, a loving presence to give meaning and direction to our earthly pilgrimage. The man carrying a pitcher of water led the disciples to the room where Jesus would institute the Eucharist. Our thirst for God brings us to the altar. Where that thirst is lacking, our celebrations become dry and lifeless. As Church, it is not enough that the usual little group meets to celebrate the Eucharist; we need to go out into the city, to encounter people and to learn how to recognize and revive their thirst for God and their desire for the Gospel.

The second image from the Gospel is that of the Upper Room. This room where Jesus and his disciples would celebrate the Passover meal was located in the house of someone who offered them hospitality.

A large room for a tiny piece of Bread. God makes himself tiny, like a morsel of bread. That is precisely why we need a great heart to be able to recognize, adore and receive him. God’s presence is so humble, hidden and often unseen that, in order to recognize his presence, we need a heart that is ready, alert and welcoming. But if our heart, rather than a large room, is more like a closet where we wistfully keep things from the past, or an attic where we long ago stored our dreams and enthusiasm, or a dreary chamber filled only with us, our problems and our disappointments, then it will be impossible to recognize God’s silent and unassuming presence. We need to enlarge our hearts. We need to break out of our tiny self-enclosed space and enter the large room, the vast expanse of wonder and adoration. That is what we really need!  Adoration: that is the attitude we need in the presence of the Eucharist. The Church too must be a large room. Not a small and closed circle, but a community with arms wide open, welcoming to all. Let us ask ourselves this question: when someone approaches who is hurting, who has made a mistake, who has gone astray in life, is the Church, this Church, a room large enough to welcome this person and lead him or her to the joy of an encounter with Christ? Let us not forget that the Eucharist is meant to nourish those who are weary and hungry along the way. A Church of the pure and perfect is a room with no place for anyone. On the other hand, a Church with open doors, that gathers and celebrates around Christ, is a large room where everyone – everyone, the righteous and sinners – can enter.

A third image from the Gospel is that of Jesus breaking the bread. It is the distinctive sign of our faith and the place where we encounter the Lord who offers himself so that we can be reborn to new life. Up to that point, lambs were sacrificed and offered to God. Now Jesus becomes the lamb, offering himself in sacrifice in order to give us life. In the Eucharist, we contemplate and worship the God of love. The Lord who breaks no one, yet allows himself to be broken. The Lord who does not demand sacrifices, but sacrifices himself. The Lord who asks nothing but gives everything. In celebrating and experiencing the Eucharist, we too are called to share in this love. For we cannot break bread on Sunday if our hearts are closed to our brothers and sisters. We cannot partake of that Bread if we do not give bread to the hungry. We cannot share that Bread unless we share the sufferings of our brothers and sisters in need.

Brothers and sisters, today where should we go “to prepare the Lord’s supper”? The procession with the Blessed Sacrament reminds us that we are called to go out and bring Jesus to others. To go out with enthusiasm, bringing Christ to those we meet in our daily lives. May we become a Church with pitcher in hand, a Church that reawakens thirst and brings water. Let us open wide our hearts in love, so that we can become the large and welcoming room where everyone can enter and meet the Lord. Let us break the bread of our lives in compassion and solidarity, so that through us the world may see the grandeur of God’s love. Then the Lord will come, he will surprise us once more, he will again become food for the life of the world. And he will satisfy us always, until the day when, at the heavenly banquet, we will contemplate his face and come to know the joy that has no end.





Pope Francis  Angelus 06.06.21

on the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

Pope Francis Corpus Christi Angelus 2021.06.06Excerpt below, for the full transcript click on the picture link above

Today, in Italy and in other countries, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ. The Gospel presents us the narrative of the Last Supper (Mk 14:12-16, 22-26). The words and gestures of the Lord touch our hearts: He takes the bread in his hands, pronounces the blessing, breaks it and offers it to the disciples, saying: “Take; this is my body”.

And thus, with simplicity, Jesus gives us the greatest sacrament. His is a humble gesture of giving, a gesture of sharing. At the culmination of his life, he does not distribute an abundance of bread to feed the multitudes, but he splits himself apart at the Passover supper with the disciples. In this way Jesus shows us that the aim of life lies in self-giving, that the greatest thing is to serve. And today once more we find the greatness of God in a piece of Bread, in a fragility that overflows with love, overflows with sharing. Fragility is precisely the word I would like to underscore. Jesus becomes fragile like the bread that is broken and crumbled. But his strength lies precisely therein, in his fragility. In the Eucharist fragility is strength: the strength of the love that becomes small so it can be welcomed and not feared; the strength of the love that is broken and shared so as to nourish and give life; the strength of the love that is split apart so as to join us in unity.

And there is another strength that stands out in the fragility of the Eucharist: the strength to love those who make mistakes. It is on the night he is betrayed that Jesus gives us the Bread of Life. He gives us the greatest gift while in his heart he feels the deepest abyss: the disciple who eats with Him, who dips the morsel in the same plate, is betraying Him. And betrayal is the worst suffering for one who loves. And what does Jesus do? He reacts to the evil with a greater good. He responds to Judas’ ‘no’ with the ‘yes’ of mercy. He does not punish the sinner, but rather gives His life for him; He pays for him. When we receive the Eucharist, Jesus does the same with us: he knows us; he knows we are sinners; he knows we make many mistakes, but he does not give up on joining his life to ours. He knows that we need it, because the Eucharist is not the reward of saints, but the Bread of sinners. This is why he exhorts us: “Do not be afraid! Take and eat”.

Each time we receive the Bread of Life, Jesus comes to give new meaning to our fragilities. He reminds us that in his eyes we are more precious than we think. He tells us he is pleased if we share our fragilities with him. He repeats to us that his mercy is not afraid of our miseries. And above all he heals us with love from those fragilities that we cannot heal on our own. What fragilities? Let’s think. That of feeling resentment toward those who have done us harm – we cannot heal from this on our own; that of distancing ourselves from others and closing off within ourselves – we cannot heal from that on our own; that of feeling sorry for ourselves and lamenting without finding peace; from this too, we cannot heal on our own. It is He who heals us with his presence, with is bread, with the Eucharist. The Eucharist is an effective medicine for these closures. The Bread of Life, indeed, heals rigidity and transforms it into docility. The Eucharist heals because it joins with Jesus: it makes us assimilate his way of living, his ability to break himself apart and give himself to brothers and sisters, to respond to evil with good. He gives us the courage to go outside of ourselves and bend down with love toward the fragility of others. As God does with us. This is the logic of the Eucharist: we receive Jesus who loves us and heals our fragilities in order to love others and help them in their fragilities; and this lasts our entire life. As Jesus was born, he became our travelling companion in life. Then, at the supper he gave himself as food. Then, on the cross, in his death, he became the price: he paid for us. And now, as he reigns in Heaven he is our reward; we go to seek the One who awaits us.

May the Blessed Virgin, in whom God became flesh, help us to embrace with a grateful heart the gift of the Eucharist and to make a gift of our life too. May the Eucharist make us a gift for all others.





Pope Francis Message for the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, World Environment Day - 04.06.21


Pope Francis message for the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration delivered by Cardinal Pietro Parolin 04.06.2021
delivered by Cardinal Pietro Parolin


Excerpt below for the full message click here

Tomorrow we will celebrate World Environment Day. This annual commemoration encourages us to remember that everything is interconnected. A true concern for the environment needs to be joined to a sincere love for our fellow human beings and an unwavering commitment to resolving the problems of society.

Tomorrow’s celebration, however, will have a special significance, as it will take place in the year in which the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration begins. This decade invites us to make ten-year commitments aimed at caring for our common home by supporting and scaling up efforts to prevent, halt and reverse the degradation of ecosystems worldwide and raise awareness of the importance of successful ecosystem restoration.

We are all part of this gift of creation. We are a part of nature, not separated from it. This is what the Bible tells us.

The current environmental situation calls us to act now with urgency to become ever more responsible stewards of creation and to restore the nature that we have been damaging and exploiting for too long. Otherwise, we risk destroying the very basis on which we depend. We risk floods, and hunger and severe consequences for ourselves and for future generations. This is what many scientists tell us.

We need to take care of each other, and of the weakest among us. Continuing down this path of exploitation and destruction – of humans, and of nature – is unjust and unwise. This is what a responsible conscience would tell us.

We have a responsibility to leave a habitable common home for our children and for future generations.






Pope Francis General Audience 02.06.21 

Jesus, model and soul of all prayer


Pope Francis Jesus model and soul of prayer General Audience 02.06.21Excerpt below, for the full transcript click on the picture link above

The Gospels show us how prayer was fundamental in the relationship between Jesus and His disciples. This already appears in the choice of who would then become the Apostles. Luke places their election in a precise context of prayer, and he says: “In these days He went out to the mountain to pray; and all night He continued in prayer to God. And when it was day, He called His disciples, and chose from them twelve, whom He named apostles” (6:12-13). Jesus chooses the apostles after a night of prayer. It seems that there is no criterion in this choice other than prayer, the dialogue of Jesus with the Father. Judging from how those men were to behave, it would seem that the choice was not the best, as they all fled, they left Him alone before the Passion; but it is precisely this, especially the presence of Judas, the future betrayer, that demonstrates that those names were inscribed in God’s plan.

Prayer on behalf of His friends continually reappears in the life of Jesus. The Apostles sometimes become a cause of concern for Him, but Jesus, as He received them from the Father, after prayer, thus He carries them in His heart, even in their errors, even when they fall. In all this we discover how Jesus was both teacher and friend, always willing to wait patiently for the conversion of the disciple. The highest point of this patient waiting is the “web” of love that Jesus weaves around Peter. At the Last Supper he says to him: “Simon, Simon, behold” - the word we heard at the beginning of the audience - “Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail, and when you have turned again, strengthen your brethren”. (Lk 22:31-32). It is impressive to know that at that moment, during the time of weakness, Jesus’ love does not cease. “But father, if I am in mortal sin, does Jesus love me?” - “Yes” - “And does Jesus continue to pray for me?” - “Yes” - “But if I have done the worst things, and more, committed so many sins … does Jesus continue to pray?” - “Yes”. Jesus’ love, Jesus’ prayer for each one of us does not cease, it does not cease, but rather becomes more intense, and we are at the centre of his prayer! We must always keep this in mind: Jesus prays for me, He is praying now before the Father and makes Him see the wounds He carried with Him, to show the Father the price of our salvation, it is the love that He holds for us. But in this moment, each one of us, let us think: in this moment, is Jesus praying for me? Yes. This is a great certainty that we must have.

The great turning points of Jesus' mission are always preceded by prayer, but not just in passing, by intense, prolonged prayer. 

It is necessary to pray more intensely, every time the road takes an uphill turn.

And indeed, after announcing to the disciples what awaits Him in Jerusalem, the episode of the Transfiguration takes place. And as He was praying, the appearance of His countenance was altered, and His raiment became dazzling white. This anticipated manifestation of the glory of Jesus took place in prayer, while the Son was immersed in communion with the Father and fully consented to His will of love, to His plan of salvation. And out of that prayer came a clear word for the three disciples involved: “This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to Him” (Lk 9:35). From prayer comes the invitation to listen to Jesus, always from prayer.

Let us learn that Jesus not only wants us to pray as He prays, but assures us that, even if our attempts at prayer are completely vain and ineffective, we can always count on His prayer. We must be aware of this: Jesus prays for me. Once, a good bishop told me that in a very bad moment in his life, a very, very, very great trial, in which all was in darkness, he looked up in the Basilica and saw this phrase written: “I, Peter, will pray for you”. And this gave him strength and consolation. And this happens every time that any each of us knows that Jesus is praying for him or for her. Jesus prays for us. When there is a difficulty, when you feel the orbital pull of distractions: Jesus is praying for me. But father, is this true? It is true! He said it Himself. Let us not forget that what sustains each of us in life is Jesus’ prayer for every one of us, with our name and surname, before the Father, showing Him the wounds that are the price of our salvation.

Even if our prayers were only stuttering, if they were compromised by a wavering faith, we must never cease to trust in Him: I do not know how to pray but He prays for me. Supported by Jesus’ prayer, our timid prayers rest on eagle wings and soar up to Heaven. Do not forget: Jesus is praying for me. Now? Now. In the moment of trial, in the moment of sin, even in that sin, Jesus is praying for me with so much love. Thank you.