Pope Francis Homilies

Festival of Families 22.06.22

X World Meeting of Families

Pope Francis General Audience 22.06.22

Old Age - Peter and John

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

In our catechetical journey on old age, today we meditate on the dialogue between the risen Jesus and Peter at the end of John’s Gospel (21:15-23). It is a moving dialogue, from which shines all the love of Jesus for his disciples, and also the sublime humanity of his relationship with them, in particular with Peter: a tender relationship, but not melancholic; direct, strong, free, and open. A relationship between men and in truth. Thus, John’s Gospel, so spiritual, so lofty, closes with a poignant request and offer of love between Jesus and Peter, which is intertwined, quite naturally, with a discussion between them. The Evangelist alerts us: he is bearing witness to the truth of the facts (cf. Jn 21:24). And it is in the facts that the truth is to be sought.

We can ask ourselves: are we capable of preserving the tenor of this relationship of Jesus with the disciples, according to his style that is so open, so frank, so direct, so humanly real? How is our relationship with Jesus? Is it like this, like that of the Apostles with Him? Are we not, instead, very often tempted to enclose the testimony of the Gospel in the cocoon of a ‘sugar-coated’ revelation, to which is added our own circumstantial veneration? This attitude, which seems respectful, actually distances us from the real Jesus, and even becomes the occasion for a very abstract, very self-referential, very worldly journey of faith, which is not the path of Jesus. Jesus is the Word of God made man, and He comports Himself as man, He speaks to us as man, God-man. With this tenderness, with this friendship, with this closeness. Jesus is not like the sugar-sweet image of the picture cards, no: Jesus is close to hand, he is near us.

In the course of Jesus’ discussion with Peter, we find two passages that deal precisely with old age and the passage of time: the time of testimony, the time of life. The first passage is Jesus’ warning to Peter: when you were young you were self-sufficient, when you are old you will no longer be so much the master of yourself and your life. Tell me I have to go in a wheelchair, eh? But that’s how it is, that’s life. With old age you get all these illnesses and we have to accept them as they come, don’t we. We don’t have the strength of youth! And your witness will also be accompanied by this weakness. You have to be a witness to Jesus even in weakness, illness and death. There is a beautiful passage from St Ignatius of Loyola that says: “Just as in life, so also in death we must bear witness as disciples of Jesus.” The end of life must be an end of life of disciples: of disciples of Jesus, whom the Lord always speaks to us according to our age. The Evangelist adds his commentary, explaining that Jesus was alluding to the extreme witness, that of martyrdom and death.

But we can understand more generally the meaning of this admonition: your sequela [following in my footsteps] will have to learn to allow itself to be instructed and moulded by your frailty, your helplessness, your dependence on others, even in getting dressed, in walking. But you: “Follow me” (v. 19). The following of Jesus is always going forward, in good health, in not so good health; self-sufficient, without physical self-sufficiency. But the following of Jesus is important: to follow Jesus always, on your feet, running, going slowly, in a wheelchair… but always following Him. The wisdom of the following of Jesus must find the way to abide in its profession of faith – thus Peter responds: “Lord, you know that I love you” (vv. 15.16.17) – even in the limited conditions of weakness and old age. I like talking to the elderly, looking into their eyes: they have those bright eyes, those eyes that speak to you more than words, the witness of a life. And this is beautiful, we must preserve it until the end. Thus to follow Jesus: full of life.

This conversation between Jesus and Peter contains a valuable teaching for all disciples, for all of us believers, and also for all the elderly. From our frailty we learn to express the consistency of our witness of life in the conditions of a life largely entrusted to others, largely dependent on the initiative of others. With sickness, with old age, dependence grows and we are no longer as self-dependent as before; this grows and there too faith matures, there too Jesus is with us, there too that richness of the faith well lived on the road of life springs forth.

But again we must ask ourselves: do we have a spirituality truly capable of interpreting the season – now long and widespread – of this time of our weakness entrusted to others, that is greater than to the power of our autonomy? How do we remain faithful to the lived act of following Jesus, to the promised love, to the justice sought in the time of our capacity for initiative, in the time of the fragility, in the time of dependence, of farewell, in the time of moving away from being the protagonist of our lives? It’s not easy, is it? To move away from being the protagonist. It’s not easy.

This new time is also certainly a time of trial – beginning with the temptation – very human, undoubtedly, but also very insidious – to preserve our protagonism. And at times the protagonist has to diminish, has to lower himself, to accept that old age reduces you as protagonist. But you will have another way of expressing yourself, another way of participating in the family, in society, in the group of friends.

And it is curiosity that comes to Peter: “What about him?” says Peter, seeing the beloved disciple following them (cf. vv. 20-21). Sticking your nose in other people’s lives. But no: Jesus says: “Shut up!”. Does he have to part of “my” following [of Jesus]? Does he have to occupy “my” space? Will he be my successor? These are questions that do no good, that don’t help. Must he outlive me and take my place? Jesus’ answer is frank and even rude: “What does it matter to you? You worry about your own life, about your present situation, and don’t stick your nose into the lives of others. What does it matter to you? You follow me” (v. 22).

This is important: the following of Jesus, to follow Jesus in life and in death, in health and in sickness, in life when it is prosperous with many successes, and in life when it is difficult, in many bad moments of failing. And when we want to insert ourselves into other people’s lives, Jesus answers, “What does it matter to you? You follow me.” Beautiful.

We old people should not be envious of young people who take their path, who occupy our place, who outlive us. The honour of our faithfulness to sworn love, fidelity to the following of the faith we have believed, even in the conditions that bring them nearer to the end of their life, is our claim to admiration of the generations to come and of grateful recognition from the Lord. Learning to take leave: this is the wisdom of the elderly. But to say farewell well, carefully, with a smile, to take one’s leave in society, to take one’s leave with others. The life of the elderly is a farewell, slow, slow, but a joyful farewell: I have lived live, I have kept my faith. This is beautiful, when an elderly person can say, “I have lived life, this is my family; I have lived life, I was a sinner but I have also done good.” And this peace that comes, this is the farewell of the elder.

Even the forcibly inactive following of Jesus, made up of enthusiastic contemplation and rapt listening to the word of the Lord – like that of Mary, the sister of Lazarus – will become the best part of their lives, of the lives of us elderly persons. May this part never be taken from us again, never (cf. Lk 10:42). Let us look to the elderly, let us look upon them, and let us help them so that they may live and express their wisdom of life, that they may give us what is beautiful and good in them. Let us look at them, let us listen to them. And we elders, let us look at the young, and always with a smile, at the young: they will follow the path, they will carry forward what we have sown, even what we have not sown because we have not had the courage or the opportunity: they will carry it forward. But always this relationship.

22.06.22 e

Pope Francis June 2022

For Families

We pray for Christian families around the world; may they embody and experience unconditional love and advance in holiness in their daily lives.

The family is the place where we learn to live with one another, to live with young people and with those who are older.

And by being united —young people, the elderly, adults, children—, by being united in our differences, we evangelize with our example of life.

Of course, there is no such thing as a perfect family. There are always “buts.”

But that doesn’t matter. We shouldn’t be afraid of mistakes; we have to learn from them so we can move forward.

Let’s not forget that God is with us: in our family, in our neighbourhood, in the city where we live, He is with us.

And He takes care of us. He remains with us at all times in the swaying of the boat tossed by the sea: when we argue, when we suffer, when we’re joyful, the Lord is there and accompanies us, helps us, and corrects us.

Family love is a personal path of holiness for each one of us.

This is why I chose it as the theme for this month’s World Meeting of Families.

Let us pray for Christian families around the world; may each and every family embody and experience unconditional love and advance in holiness in their daily lives.

June 2022

Pope Francis General Audience 22.06.22

I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, especially those from Malta and the United States of America. I offer a special greeting to the many student groups present. Upon all of you, and upon your families, I invoke the joy and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ. God bless you!

In the past few hours, an earthquake has claimed victims and caused extensive damage in Afghanistan. I express my sympathy to the injured and those affected by the earthquake, and I pray in particular for those who have lost their lives and for their families. I hope that with everyone's help, the suffering of the dear Afghan people can be alleviated.

I also express my sorrow and dismay at the killing, in Mexico the day before yesterday, of two Jesuit religious – my confreres – and a layman. How many killings there are in Mexico! With affection and prayer, I am close to the Catholic community affected by this tragedy. Once again, I repeat that violence does not solve problems, but increases unnecessary suffering.

The children who were with me in the Popemobile were Ukrainian children: let us not forget Ukraine. Let us not forget the suffering of that martyred people.

Finally, as usual, my thoughts go to the elderly, the sick, the young and the newlyweds. The feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, next Friday, and the memory of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, which the Church is preparing to celebrate, remind us of the need to respond to the merciful love of Christ and invite us to entrust ourselves with trust to the intercession of the Mother of the Lord.

To all of you my blessing.

22.06.22



Pope Francis Angelus 19.06.22

Corpus Christi

Yesterday, in Seville, some religious of the Dominican family were beatified: Ángel Marina Álvarez and nineteen companions; Juan Aguilar Donis and four companions, of the Order of Preachers; Isabel Sánchez Romero, an elderly nun of the Order of Saint Dominic; and Fructuoso Pérez Marquez, Dominican tertiary layperson. They were all killed in hatred of the faith in the religious persecution that took place in Spain in the context of the civil war of the last century. Their witness of adhesion to Christ and forgiveness for their killers show us the way to holiness and encourage us to make their lives an offering of love to God and their brothers and sisters. Let us applaud the new Blesseds!

Again from Myanmar comes the cry of pain of so many people who lack basic humanitarian assistance and who are forced to leave their homes that have been burnt down and to flee violence. I join the appeal of the bishops of that beloved land, that the international community does not forget the Burmese people, that human dignity and the right to life be respected, as well as places of worship, hospitals and schools. And I bless the Burmese community in Italy, represented here today.

Next Wednesday, 22 June, the Tenth World Meeting of Families will begin; it will take place in Rome and at the same time throughout the world. I thank the bishops, parish priests and family pastoral workers who have called families to moments of reflection, celebration and festivity. Above all, I thank the married couples and families who will bear witness to family love as a vocation and way to holiness. Have a good meeting!

And let us not forget the suffering of the Ukrainian people in this moment, a people who are suffering. I would like you all to keep in mind a question: what am I doing today for the Ukrainian people? Do I pray? Am I doing something? Am I trying to understand? What am I doing today for the Ukrainian people? Each one of you, answer in your own heart.

I wish you all a blessed Sunday. Please, do not forget to pray for me. Enjoy your meal, and arrivederci.

19.06.22



Pope Francis Angelus 19.06.22

The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ Corpus Christi

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

Today in Italy and in other countries, the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ is celebrated. Instituted during the Last Supper, the Eucharist was like the destination of a journey along which Jesus had prefigured it through several signs, above all the multiplication of the loaves narrated in the Gospel of today’s Liturgy (cf. Lk. 9:11b-17). Jesus takes care of the huge crowd that had followed him to listen to his word and to be freed from various evils. He blesses five loaves and two fish, breaks them, the disciples distribute them, and “they all ate and were satisfied” (Lk. 9:17), the Gospel says. In the Eucharist, everyone can experience this loving and concrete attention of the Lord. Those who receive the Body and Blood of Christ with faith not only eat, but are satisfied. To eat and to be satisfied: these are two basic necessities that are satisfied in the Eucharist.

To eat. “They all ate”, writes Saint Luke. As evening fell, the disciples council Jesus to dismiss the crowd so they can go in search of food. But the Teacher wants to provide for that too – he also wants to feed those who had listened to him. The miracle of the loaves and fish does not happen in a spectacular way, but almost secretly, like the wedding at Cana – the bread increases as it passes from hand to hand. And as the crowd eats, they realize that Jesus is taking care of everything. This is the Lord present in the Eucharist. He calls us to be citizens of Heaven, but at the same time he takes into account the journey we have to face here on earth. If I have hardly any bread in my sack, He knows and takes care of it himself.

Sometimes there is the risk of confining the Eucharist to a vague, distant dimension, perhaps bright and perfumed with incense, but rather distant from the straits of everyday life. In reality, the Lord takes all our needs to heart, beginning with the most basic. And he wants to give an example to his disciples, saying, “You give them something to eat” (v. 13), to those people whom he had listened to during the day. We can evaluate our Eucharistic adoration when we take care of our neighbour like Jesus does. There is hunger for food around us, but also of companionship; there is hunger for consolation, friendship, good humour; there is hunger for attention, there is hunger to be evangelized. We find this in the Eucharistic Bread – the attention of Christ to our needs and the invitation to do the same toward those who are beside us. We need to eat and feed others.

In addition to eating, however, we cannot forget being satisfied. The crowd is satisfied because of the abundance of food and also because of the joy and amazement of having received it from Jesus! We certainly need to nourish ourselves, but we also need to be satisfied, to know that the nourishment is given to us out of love. In the Body and Blood of Christ, we find his presence, his life given for each of us. He not only gives us help to go forward, but he gives us himself – he makes himself our traveling companion, he enters into our affairs, he visits us when we are lonely, giving us back a sense of enthusiasm. This satisfies us, when the Lord gives meaning to our life, our obscurities, our doubts; he sees the meaning, and this meaning that the Lord gives satisfies us. This gives us that “more” that everyone is looking for – namely, the presence of the Lord! For in the warmth of his presence, our lives change. Without him, everything would truly be grey. Adoring the Body and Blood of Christ, let us ask him with our heart: “Lord, give me that daily bread to go forward, Lord, satisfy me with your presence!”

May the Virgin Mary teach us how to adore Jesus, living in the Eucharist and to share him with our brothers and sisters.

19.06.22 e

The Gospel in your pocket

How do we receive the Word of God? The response is clear: As one receives Jesus Christ. The Church tells us that Jesus is present in the Scripture, in His Word.

Always carry a small Gospel with you in your purse, in your pocket, and read a passage from the Gospel during the day. Not so much to learn something, but mostly to find Jesus, because Jesus actually is in His Word, in His Gospel. Every time I read the Gospel, I find Jesus. - Pope Francis 01.09.14

Daily Readings - read the entire New Testament over a 2 year period (reading plan courtesy of Gideon International)

The Bible Online

Pope Francis General Audience 15.06.22

The healing of the mother-in-law of Simon

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

We have listened to the simple and touching account of the healing of the mother-in-law of Simon – who is not yet called Peter – in Mark’s version of the Gospel. The brief episode is related, with slight yet evocative variations, also in the other two synoptic Gospels. “Simon’s mother-in-law lay sick with a fever”, writes Mark. We do not know if it is a mild ailment, but in old age even a simple fever can be dangerous. When you are old, you are no longer in control of your body. One has to learn to choose what to do and what not to do. The vigour of the body fails and abandons us, even though our heart does not stop yearning. One must then learn to purify desire: be patient, choose what to ask of the body and of life. When we are old, we cannot do the same things we did when we were young: the body has another pace, and we must listen to the body and accept its limits. We all have them. I too have to use a walking stick now.

Illness weighs on the elderly in a new and different way compared to when one is young or an adult. It is like a hard blow that falls in an already difficult time. In the elderly, illness seems to hasten death and, in any case, diminish that time we have to live, which we already consider short. The doubt lurks that we will not recover, that “this time it will be the last time I get sick...”, and so on: these ideas come. One cannot dream of hope in a future that now appears non-existent. A renowned Italian writer, Italo Calvino, noted the bitterness of the old who suffer the loss of the things of the past, more than they enjoy the coming of the new. But the Gospel scene we have heard helps us to hope and already offers us a first lesson: Jesus does not visit that sick old woman by himself: he goes there together with the disciples. And this makes us think a bit.

It is precisely the Christian community that must take care of the elderly: relatives and friends, but the community. Visiting the elderly must be done by many, together and often. We should never forget these three lines of the Gospel, especially now that the number of elderly people has grown considerably, also in relation to the young, since we are in this demographic winter, we have fewer children, and there are many old people and few young ones. We must feel a responsibility to visit the elderly who are often alone, and present them to the Lord with our prayers. Jesus himself will teach us how to love them. “A society truly welcomes life when it recognizes that it is also precious in old age, in disability, in serious illness and even when it is fading”. Life is always precious. Jesus, when he sees the sick elderly woman, takes her by the hand and heals her. The same gesture that he uses to revive that young girl who was dead: he takes her by the hand and heals her, putting her back on her feet. Jesus, with this tender gesture of love, gives the first lesson to the disciples: namely, salvation is announced or, better, communicated through attention to that sick person; and the woman’s faith shines in gratitude for the tenderness of God who stooped to her. I return to a theme I have repeated in these catecheses: this throwaway culture seems to cancel out the elderly. Yes, it does not kill them, but socially it eliminates them, as if they were a burden to carry: it is better to conceal them. This is a betrayal of our own humanity, this is the worst thing, this is choosing life according to utility, according to young and not with life as it is, with the wisdom of the elderly, with the limits of the elderly. The elderly have much to give us: there is the wisdom of life. There is much to teach us: this is why we must teach children that their grandparents are to be cared for and visited. The dialogue between young people and grandparents, children and grandparents, is fundamental for society, it is fundamental for the Church, it is fundamental for the health of life. Where there is no dialogue between the young and the old, something is lacking and a generation grows up without past, that is, without roots.

If the first lesson was given by Jesus, the second is given to us by the elderly woman, who arose and “served them”. Even in old age one can, or rather one must serve the community. It is good for the elderly to cultivate the responsibility to serve, overcoming the temptation to stand aside. The Lord does not reject them; on the contrary, he restores to them the strength to serve. . The elderly who retain the disposition for healing, consolation, intercession for their brothers and sisters – be they disciples, centurions, people disturbed by evil spirits, those who are rejected – are perhaps the highest testimony to the purity of this gratitude that accompanies faith. If the elderly, instead of being rejected and dismissed from the scene of the events that mark the life of the community, were placed at the centre of collective attention, they would be encouraged to exercise the valuable ministry of gratitude towards God, who forgets no-one. The gratitude of elderly people for the gifts received from God during their life, as Peter’s mother-in-law teaches us, restores to the community the joy of living together, and confers to the faith of the disciples the essential feature of its destination.

But we must learn well that the spirit of intercession and service, which Jesus prescribes to all his disciples, is not simply a matter for women: there is no trace of this limitation in Jesus’ words and gestures. The evangelical service of gratitude for God’s tenderness is not in any way written according to the grammar of the man who is master and the woman who serves. However, this does not detract from the fact that women, in the gratitude and tenderness of faith, can teach men things they find more difficult to understand. Peter’s mother-in-law, before the Apostles arrived, along the path of following Jesus, showed the way to them too. And the special gentleness of Jesus, who “took her by the hand” and “lifted her up”, clearly shows, from the very beginning, his special sensibility towards the weak and the sick, which the Son of God had certainly learned from his Mother. Please, let us make sure that the elderly, grandparents, are close to children, to the young, to hand down this memory of life, to pass on this experience of life, this wisdom of life. To the extent to which we ensure that the young and the old are connected, to this extent there will be more hope for the future of our society.

15.06.22 e


Pope Francis Holy Mass 05.06.22

Solemnity of Pentecost



Pope Francis Message for the 55th World Peace Day



Care for Our Common Home - Laudato Si'


Subject Index