Pope Francis Homilies

Pope Francis General Audience 19.01.22

I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors, especially those from the United States of America. I also greet the priests of the Institute for Continuing Theological Education of the Pontifical North American College. In this Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, let us pray that all of Christ’s followers will persevere on the path towards unity. Upon all of you, and your families, I invoke the joy and peace of the Lord. May God bless you!

My thoughts go to the people of the Tonga Islands, affected in recent days by the eruption of the underwater volcano that caused extensive material damage. I am spiritually close to all the people who are tried, imploring God for relief for their suffering. I invite everyone to join me in prayer for these brothers and sisters.

Finally, my thoughts go in a special way to the elderly, the young, the sick and the newlyweds. The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, which began yesterday, invites us to ask the Lord insistently for the gift of full communion among believers. My blessing to you all.


Pope Francis Angelus 16.01.22

Jesus transforms water into wine

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

The Gospel of today’s liturgy recounts the episode of the wedding at Cana, where, to the couple’s delight, Jesus transformed water into wine. This is the way the account ends: “This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory; and his disciples believed in him” (Jn 2:11). We notice that the evangelist John does not speak of a miracle, that is, of a powerful and extraordinary deed that provokes wonder. He writes that a sign took place at Cana, a sign that sparked the faith of his disciples. We can, then, ask ourselves: What is a “sign” according to the Gospel?

It is a sign that gives a clue that reveals God’s love, that does not call attention to the power of the action, but to the love that caused it. It teaches us something about God’s love that is always near, tender and compassionate. Jesus’ first sign took place when a couple faced a difficulty on the most important day of their lives. Right in the middle of the feast, an essential element for a feast, the wine, is missing and their joy risked being snuffed out due to the criticism and dissatisfaction of the guests.

It is Our Lady who became aware of the problem and discretely brought it to Jesus’ attention. And he intervened without fanfare, almost without making it obvious. Everything took place reservedly, everything took place “behind the scenes” . This is how God acts, near to us and discretely. Jesus’ disciples understood this. Nobody was aware of it, only the servants. This is how the seed of faith began to develop within them – that is, they believed that God, God’s love, was present in Jesus.

How beautiful it is to think that the first sign Jesus accomplished was not an extraordinary healing or something prodigious in the temple of Jerusalem, but an action that responded to a simple and concrete need of common people, a domestic gesture. Let us put it this way – a miracle done on tip toes, discretely, silently. Jesus is ready to help us, to lift us up. And then, if we are attentive to these “signs”, we will be conquered by his love and we will become his disciples.

But there is another distinctive characteristic about the sign at Cana. Generally, the wine provided at the end of the feast was not as good – this is still done today. Jesus, instead, acts in such a way that the feast ends with better wine. Symbolically, this tells us that God wants what is better for us, he wants us to be happy. He does not set limits and he does not ask us for incentives. There is no place for ulterior motives or demands placed on the couple. No, the joy Jesus brought to their hearts was complete and disinterested joy, a joy that was not diluted, no!

Let us try to rummage through our memories, looking for the signs the Lord has accomplished in my life. Let each of us say: in my life, what are the signs the Lord has accomplished? What are the hints of his presence, the signs he has done to show that he loves us? Let us think about that difficult moment in which God allowed me to experience his love… And let us ask ourselves: what are the discrete and loving signs through which he has allowed me to feel his tenderness? When have I felt the Lord nearer to me? When have I felt his tenderness and his compassion more? Every one of us has these moments in our personal history. Let us go in search of these signs, let us remember them. How have I discovered his nearness and how did it fill my heart with great joy? Let us relive the moments in which we have experienced his presence and Mary’s intercession. May she, the Mother who is always attentive as at Cana, help us treasure the signs of God’s presence in our lives.

16.01.22 e

Pope Francis January 2022

Religious discrimination and persecution

We pray for all those suffering from religious discrimination and persecution; may their own rights and dignity be recognized, which originate from being brothers and sisters in the human family.

How is it possible that many religious minorities currently suffer discrimination or persecution?

How can we allow that in this society, which is so civilized, there are people who are persecuted simply because they publicly profess their faith? Not only is it unacceptable; it’s inhuman, it’s insane.

Religious freedom is not limited to freedom of worship—that is to say, that people can have a worship service on the day prescribed by their sacred books. Rather, it makes us appreciate others in their differences and recognize them as true brothers and sisters.

As human beings, we have so many things in common that we can live alongside each other, welcoming our differences with the joy of being brothers and sisters.

And may a small difference, or a substantial difference such as a religious one, not obscure the great unity of being brothers and sisters.

Let us choose the path of fraternity. Because either we are brothers and sisters, or we all lose.

Let us pray that those who suffer discrimination and suffer religious persecution, may find in the societies in which they live the rights and dignity that comes from being brothers and sisters.

January 2022

Pope Francis General Audience 12.01.22

Saint Joseph - the Carpenter

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

The evangelists Matthew and Mark refer to Joseph as a “carpenter” or “joiner.” We heard earlier that the people of Nazareth, hearing Jesus speak, asked themselves: “Is not this the carpenter’s son?” . Jesus practised his father’s trade.

"Carpenter” or “joiner” was a generic qualification, indicating both woodworkers and craftsmen engaged in activities related to construction. It was quite a hard job, having to work with heavy materials such as wood, stone, and iron. From an economic point of view, it did not ensure great earnings, as can be deduced from the fact that Mary and Joseph, when they presented Jesus in the Temple, offered only a couple of turtledoves or pigeons, as the Law prescribed for the poor.

Thus, the young Jesus learnt this trade from his father. Therefore, when as an adult he began to preach, his astonished neighbours asked: “But where did this man get this wisdom and these mighty works?”, and were scandalized by him, because he was the son of the carpenter, but he spoke like a doctor of the law, and they were scandalized by this.

This biographical fact about Joseph and Jesus makes me think of all the workers in the world, especially those who do gruelling work in mines and certain factories; those who are exploited through undocumented work; the victims of labour: we have seen a lot of this in Italy recently; the children who are forced to work and those who rummage among the trash in search of something useful to trade.

The hidden workers, the workers who do hard labour in mines and in certain factories: let's think of them. Those who are exploited with undeclared work, who are paid in contraband, on the sly, without a pension, without anything. And if you don't work, you have no security. Undocumented work. And today there is a lot of undocumented work.

Let us think of the victims of work, who suffer from work accidents. Of the children who are forced to work: this is terrible! A child at the age of play, who should be playing, forced to work like an adult! Children forced to work. And of those — poor people! — who rummage in the dumps to look for something useful to trade: they go to the dumps... All these are our brothers and sisters, who earn their living this way: with work that gives them no dignity! Let us think about this. And this is happening today, in the world.

But I think too of those who are out of work. How many people go knocking on the doors of factories, of businesses [asking] “Is there anything to do?” — “No, there’s nothing, there’s nothing. I think of those who feel their dignity wounded because they cannot find work. They return home: “And? Have you found something?” — “No, nothing… I went to Caritas and I brought bread. What gives dignity is not bringing bread home. You can get it from Caritas — no, this doesn’t give you dignity. What gives you dignity is earning bread — and if we don’t give our people, our men and women, the ability to earn bread, that is a social injustice in that place, in that nation, in that continent. The leaders must give everyone the possibility of earning bread, because this ability to earn gives them dignity.

Many young people, many fathers and mothers experience the ordeal of not having a job that allows them to live tranquilly. They live day to day. And how often the search for work becomes so desperate that it drives them to the point of losing all hope and the desire to live. In these times of pandemic, many people have lost their jobs — we know this — and some, crushed by an unbearable burden, reached the point of taking their own lives. I would like to remember each of them and their families today.

Not enough consideration is given to the fact that work is an essential component of human life. Work is not only a means of earning a living: it is also a place where we express ourselves, feel useful, and learn the great lesson of concreteness, which helps keep the spiritual life from becoming spiritualism. Unfortunately, however, labour is often a hostage to social injustice and, rather than being a means of humanization, it becomes an existential periphery. I often ask myself: With what spirit do we do our daily work? How do we deal with fatigue? Do we see our activity as linked only to our own destiny or also to the destiny of others? In fact, work is a way of expressing our personality, which is relational by its nature. And, too, work is a way to express our creativity: each one of us works in their own way, with their own style: the same work but with different styles.

It is good to think about the fact that Jesus himself worked and had learned this craft from St Joseph. Today, we should ask ourselves what we can do to recover the value of work; and what contribution we can make, as the Church, so that work can be redeemed from the logic of mere profit and can be experienced as a fundamental right and duty of the person, which expresses and increases his or her dignity.

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Pope Francis Holy Mass and baptism of infants 09.01.22

Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

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

Today we commemorate the Baptism of the Lord. There is a very beautiful liturgical hymn, for today's feast, which says that the people of Israel went to the Jordan "with bare feet and a bare soul", that is, a soul that wanted to be washed by God, that they had nothing, and they needed God. These children also come here today with "bare souls" to receive god's justification, the power of Jesus, the power to go forward in life. They come to receive their Christian identity. It is this, simply. Your children will receive their Christian identity today. And you, parents and godparents, must preserve this identity. This is your task during your life: to preserve the Christian identity of your children. It is an everyday commitment: to make them grow with the light they will receive today. This is what I just wanted to tell you, this is today's message: to preserve the Christian identity that you have brought your children today to receive.

09.01.22 m 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)

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Pope Francis Angelus 09.01.22

Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

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

The Gospel of today’s Liturgy shows us the scene with which Jesus’ public life begins: he, who is the Son of God and the Messiah, goes to the banks of the Jordan River to be baptized by John the Baptist. After about thirty years of hidden life, Jesus does not present himself with a miracle, or by rising to the podium to teach. He lines up with the people who were going to receive baptism from John. Today’s liturgical hymn says that the people went to be baptized with a bare soul and bare feet, humbly. This is a beautiful attitude, with a bare soul and bare feet. And Jesus shares the plight of us sinners, he comes down towards us; he descends into the river, and at the same time into the wounded history of humanity, he immerses himself in our waters to heal them, and he immerses himself with us, in our midst. He does not rise up above us, but rather comes down towards us with a bare soul, with bare feet, like the people. He does not come by himself, nor does he come with a select, privileged group. No: he comes with the people. He belongs to the people and he comes with them to be baptized, with these humble people.

Let us reflect on an important point: at the moment in which Jesus receives Baptism, the text says that he “was praying”. It is good for us to contemplate this: Jesus prays. But why? He, the Lord, the Son of God, prays like us? Yes, Jesus – the Gospels repeat this many times – spends a lot of time in prayer: at the beginning of every day, often at night, before making important decisions… His prayer is a dialogue, a relationship with the Father. Thus, in today’s Gospel, we can see the “two moments” in the life of Jesus: on the one hand, he descends towards us into the waters of the Jordan; on the other, he raises his eyes and his heart, praying to the Father.

It is a tremendous lesson for us: we are all immersed in the problems of life and in many complicated situations, called upon to face difficult moments and choices that get us down. But, if we do not want to be crushed, we need to raise everything upwards. And this is exactly what prayer does. It is not an escape route; prayer is not a magic ritual or a repetition of memorized jingles. No. Prayer is the way we allow God to act in us, to understand what he wants to communicate to us even in the most difficult situations, prayer is having the strength to go forward. Many people feel they can’t go on, and pray: “Lord, give me the strength to continue”. We too, very often, have done this. Prayer helps us because it unites us to God, it opens us up to encountering him. Yes, prayer is the key that opens our heart to the Lord. It is dialoguing with God, it is listening to his Word, it is worshipping: remaining in silence, entrusting to him what we are experiencing. And at times it is also crying out with him like Job, other times it is venting with Him. He is the father, He understands well. He never gets angry with us.

Prayer – to use a beautiful image from today’s Gospel – “opens the heavens”; it gives life oxygen, a breath of fresh air amidst life’s troubles and allows us to see things from a broader perspective. Above all, it enables us to have the same experience of Jesus by the Jordan River: it makes us feel like beloved children of the Father. When we pray, the Father says to us too, as he does to Jesus in the Gospel: “You are my beloved child”. Being God’s children began on the day of our Baptism, which immersed us in Christ and, as members of the people of God, we became beloved children of the Father. Let us not forget the date of our Baptism! If I were to ask each one of you now: what is the date of your Baptism? Perhaps some of you don’t remember. This is a beautiful thing: remembering the date of your baptism, because it is our rebirth, the moment in which we became children of God with Jesus! And when you return home – if you don’t know – ask your mother, your aunt, your grandmother or your grandfather: “When was I baptized?”, and remember that date so as to celebrate it, to thank the Lord. And today, at this moment, let us ask ourselves: how is my prayer going? Do I pray out of habit, do I pray unwillingly, just reciting formulas, or is my prayer an encounter with God? I, a sinner, always with the people of God, never isolated? Do I cultivate intimacy with God, dialogue with Him, listen to his Word? Among the many things we do each day, let us not neglect prayer: let us dedicate time to it, let us use short invocations to be repeated often, let us read the Gospel every day. The prayer that opens the heavens.

09.01.22 a e

Pope Francis Epiphany Mass 06.01.22

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