Pope Francis Homilies

Pope Francis General Audience 25.01.23

Jesus teacher of proclamation

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

Last Wednesday we reflected on Jesus model of proclamation, on his pastoral heart always reaching out to others. Today we look to Him as a teacher of proclamation. Model of proclamation. Today, the teacher of proclamation Let us be guided by the episode in which He preaches in the synagogue of His village, Nazareth. Jesus reads a passage from the prophet Isaiah (cf. 61:1-2) and then surprises everyone with a very short “sermon” of just one sentence, just one sentence. And He speaks thus, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” (Lk. 4:21). This was Jesus’ sermon: “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing. This means that for Jesus that prophetic passage contains the essence of what He wants to say about Himself. So, whenever we talk about Jesus, we should go back to that first announcement of His. Let us see, then, what it consists of. Five essential elements can be identified.

The first element is joy. Jesus proclaims, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me; He has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor” (v. 18), that is, a proclamation of gladness, of joy. Good news: one cannot speak of Jesus without joy, because faith is a wonderful love story to be shared. Bearing witness to Jesus, doing something for others in His name, to have received “between the lines” of one’s life, so beautiful a gift that no words suffice to express it. Instead, when joy is lacking, the Gospel does not come through, because – it’s the very meaning of the word – is good news, and “Gospel” means “good news,” a proclamation of joy. A sad Christian can talk about beautiful things, but it is all in vain if the news he conveys is not joyful. A thinker once said, “A Christian who is sad is a sad Christian.” Don’t forget this.

We come to the second aspect: deliverance. Jesus says He was sent “release to the captives” (ibid.). This means that one who proclaims God cannot proselytize, no, cannot pressure others, no, but relieve them: not impose burdens, but take them away; bearing peace, not bearing guilt. Of course, following Jesus involves asceticism, involves sacrifices; after all, if every good thing requires these things, how much more the decisive reality of life! However, those who witness to Christ show the beauty of the goal rather than the toil of the journey. We may have happened to tell someone about a beautiful trip we took: for example, we would have spoken about the beauty of the places, what we saw and experienced, not about the time to get there and the queues at the airport, no! So, any announcement worthy of the Redeemer must communicate liberation. Like that of Jesus. Today there is joy, because I have come to liberate.

The third aspect: light. Jesus says He came to bring “sight to the blind”. It is striking that throughout the Bible, before Christ, the healing of a blind man never appears, never. It was indeed a promised sign that would come with the Messiah. But here it is not just about physical sight, but a light that makes one see the life of a new world, and also life in a new way. There is a “coming into the light,” a rebirth that happens only with Jesus. If we think about it, that is how Christian life began for us: with Baptism, which in ancient times was called precisely “enlightenment.” And what light does Jesus give us? He brings us the light of sonship: He is the beloved Son of the Father, living forever; with Him we too are children of God loved forever, despite our mistakes and faults. So life is no longer a blind advance toward nothingness, no; it is not a matter of fate or luck, no. It is not something that depends on chance or the stars, no, or even on health or finances, no. Life depends on love, on the love of the Father, Who cares for us, His beloved children. How wonderful to share this light with others! Has it occurred to you that the life of each of us – my life, your life, our life – is an act of love? And an invitation to love? This is wonderful! But so many times we forget this, in the face of difficulties, in the face of bad news, even in the face of – and this is bad – worldliness, the worldly way of life.

The fourth aspect of the proclamation: healing. Jesus says He came “to set at liberty those who are oppressed”. The oppressed are those in life who feel crushed by something that happens: sickness, labors, burdens on the heart, guilt, mistakes, vices, sins... Oppressed by this. We think of the sense of guilt, for example. How many of us have suffered this? We think a little bit about the sense of guilt for this or that.... What is oppressing us above all is precisely that evil that no medicine or human remedy can heal: sin. And if someone has a sense of guilt, it is for something they have done, and that feels bad. But the good news is that with Jesus, this ancient evil, sin, which seems invincible, no longer has the last word.

I can sin because I am weak. Each of us can do it, but that is not the last word. The last word is Jesus’ outstretched hand that lifts you up from sin. “And Father, when do you do this? Once?” No. “Twice?” No. “Three time?” No. Always. Whenever you are sick, the Lord always has His hand outstretched. Only He wants us (to) hold on and let Him carry you. The good news is that with Jesus this ancient evil no longer has the last word: the last word is Jesus' outstretched hand that carries you forward.

Jesus heals us from sin, always. And how much do I have to pay for this healing? Nothing. He heals us always and gratuitously. He invites those who “labour and are heavy laden” -- He says it in the Gospel – invites them to come to Him (cf. Mt 11:28). And so to accompany someone to an encounter with Jesus is to bring them to the doctor of the heart, Who lifts up life. That is to say, “Brother, sister, I don't have answers to so many of your problems, but Jesus knows you, Jesus loves you and can heal and soothe your heart. Go and leave them with Jesus.”

Those who carry burdens need a caress for the past. So many times we hear, “But I would need to heal my past...I need a caress for that past that weighs so heavily on me...” He needs forgiveness. And those who believe in Jesus have just that to give to others: the power of forgiveness, which frees the soul from all debt. Brothers, sisters, do not forget: God forgets everything. How so? Yes, He forgets all our sins. That He forgets. That’s why He has no memory. God forgives everything because He forgets our sins. Only He wants us to draw near to the Lord and He forgives us everything. “But Father, I do the same things always...” And He will always do His same thing! Forgiving you, embracing you. Please, let us not distrust this. This is the way to love the Lord. Those who carry burdens and need a caress for the past need forgiveness, and Jesus does that. And that's what Jesus gives: to free the soul from all debt. In the Bible it talks about a year when one was freed from the burden of debt: the Jubilee, the year of grace. As if it were the ultimate point of the proclamation. Christ is the Jubilee of every day, every hour, drawing you near, to caress you, to forgive you.

And the proclamation of Jesus must always bring the amazement of grace. This amazement… “No, I can’t believe it! I have been forgiven.” But this is how great our God is. Because it is not we who do great things, but rather the grace of the Lord who, even through us, accomplishes unexpected things. And these are the surprises of God. God is the master of surprises. He always surprises us, is always waiting, waits for us. We arrive, and He has been expecting us. Always. The Gospel comes with a sense of wonder and newness that has a name: Jesus.

May He help us to proclaim it as He desires, communicating joy, deliverance, light, healing, and wonder. This is how one communicates about Jesus.

The last thing: This good news, which the Gospel says is addressed “to the poor” (v. 18). We often forget about them, yet they are the recipients explicitly mentioned, because they are God’s beloved. Let us remember them, and let us remember that, in order to welcome the Lord, each of us must make him- or herself “poor within.” With that poverty… “Lord, I am in need, I am in need of forgiveness, I am in need of help, I am in need of strength. This poverty that we all have: making oneself poor interiorly. You have to overcome any pretence of self-sufficiency in order to understand oneself to be in need of grace, and to always be in need of Him. Is someone tells me, “Father, what is the shortest way to encounter Jesus?” Be needy. Be needy for grace, needy for forgiveness, be needy for joy. And he will draw near to you. Thank you.

25.01.23 e


Pope Francis General Audience 25.01.23

I extend a warm welcome to the English-speaking pilgrims taking part in today’s Audience, especially those from Australia and the United States of America. In the context of this Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, I offer a special greeting to the group from the Bossey Ecumenical Institute. Upon all of you, and upon your families, I invoke the joy and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ. God bless you!

The day after tomorrow, January 2th, the International Day in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust is observed. In remembrance of that extermination of millions of Jewish people and people of other faiths that must neither be forgotten nor denied. There can be no sustained commitment to building fraternity together without first dispelling the roots of hatred and violence that fueled the horror of the Holocaust.

I extend a cordial welcome to Italian-speaking pilgrims. In particular, I greet and thank the participants in the symposium sponsored by the Dicastery for Integral Human Development, on Hansen's disease (leprosy), entitled “Leave No One Behind.”

Finally, my thoughts go, as usual, to the young, the sick, the elderly and the newlyweds. Today concludes the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. I encourage us to live, each in our own state of life, the demands of Christian unity that come to us from baptism. Aware of the gift of this sacrament, let us work, pray, and offer our sacrifices daily for the unity of all believers in Christ.

In our thoughts and prayers, may the tormented Ukraine, so much afflicted, not be absent. This morning I had a meeting with the leaders of the different Confessions of faith that are in Ukraine – all united – and they told me about the pain of that people. Let us never forget, every day, to pray for definitive peace in Ukraine.

To all my blessings.

25.01.23

Pope Francis Holy Mass 22.01.23

Sunday of the Word of God

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

Jesus leaves the quiet and hidden life of Nazareth and moves to Capernaum, a port city located along the Sea of Galilee, at the crossroads of different peoples and cultures. The urgency that impels him is the proclamation of the Word of God, which must be brought to everyone. Indeed, we see in the Gospel that the Lord invites all to conversion and calls the first disciples so that they may also spread the light of the Word to others (cf. Mt 4:12-23). Let us appreciate this dynamism, which will help us live out the Sunday of the Word of God: the Word is for everyone, the Word calls everyone to conversion, the Word makes us heralds.

The Word of God is for everyone. The Gospel presents us with Jesus always on the move, on his way to others. On no occasion in his public life does he give us the idea that he is a stationary teacher, a professor seated on a chair; on the contrary, we see him as an itinerant, we see him as a pilgrim, travelling through towns and villages, encountering faces and their stories. His feet are those of the messenger announcing the good news of God’s love (cf. Is 52:7-8). In Galilee of the Gentiles, on the sea route, beyond the Jordan, where Jesus preaches, there was – the text notes – a people plunged into darkness: foreigners, pagans, women and men from various regions and cultures (cf. Mt 4:15-16). Now they too can see the light. And so Jesus “enlarges the boundaries”: the Word of God, which heals and raises up, is not only destined for the righteous of Israel, but for all; he wants to reach those far away, he wants to heal the sick, he wants to save sinners, he wants to gather the lost sheep and lift up those whose hearts are weary and oppressed. In short, Jesus ‘reaches out’ to tell us that God’s mercy is for everyone. Let us not forget this: God’s mercy is for everyone, for each one of us. Each person can say, “God’s mercy is for me”.

This aspect is fundamental also for us. It reminds us that the Word is a gift addressed to everyone; therefore we can never restrict its field of action, for beyond all our calculations, it springs forth in a spontaneous, unforeseen and unpredictable way (cf. Mk 4:26-28), in the ways and times that the Holy Spirit knows. Moreover, if salvation is destined for all, even the most distant and lost, then the proclamation of the Word must become the main priority of the ecclesial community, as it was for Jesus. May it not happen that we profess a God with an expansive heart, yet become a Church with a closed heart – this, I dare say, would be a curse; may it not happen that we preach salvation for all, yet make the way to receive it impractical; may it not happen that we recognize we are called to proclaim the Kingdom, yet neglect the Word, losing ourselves in so many secondary activities or discussions. Let us learn from Jesus to put the Word at the centre, to enlarge our boundaries, to open ourselves up to people, and to foster experiences of encounter with the Lord, realizing that the Word of God “is not encased in abstract or static formulas, but has a dynamic power in history which is made up of persons and events, words and actions, developments and tensions”.

Let us now come to the second aspect: the Word of God, which is addressed to all, calls everyone to conversion. In fact, Jesus repeats in his preaching: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Mt 4:17). This means that God’s nearness is not inconsequential, his presence does not leave things as they are, it does not advocate a quiet life. On the contrary, his Word shakes us, disturbs us, incites us to change, to conversion. It throws us into crisis because it “is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints from marrow; it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Heb 4:12). Like a sword, the Word penetrates life, enabling us to discern the feelings and thoughts of the heart, that is, making us see where the light of goodness is to be afforded room and where, instead, the thick darkness of vices and sins is to be resisted. When it enters us, the Word transforms our hearts and minds; it changes us and leads us to direct our lives to the Lord.

Here is Jesus’ invitation: God has come close to you; recognize his presence, make room for his Word, and you will change your outlook on life. I can also put it like this: place your life under the Word of God. This is the path the Church shows us. All of us, even the pastors of the Church, are under the authority of the Word of God. Not under our own tastes, tendencies and preferences, but under the one Word of God that moulds us, converts us and calls us to be united in the one Church of Christ. So, brothers and sisters, we can ask ourselves: Where does my life find direction, from where does it draw its orientation? From the many “words” I hear, from ideologies, or from the Word of God that guides and purifies me? What are the aspects in me that require change and conversion?

Finally – the third step – the Word of God, which is addressed to everyone and calls us to conversion, makes us heralds. Indeed, Jesus walks along the shore of the Sea of Galilee and calls Simon and Andrew, two brothers who were fishermen. With his Word he invites them to follow him, telling them that he will make them “fishers of men” (Mt. 4,19): no longer just experts in boats, nets and fish, but experts in seeking others. And just as in sailing and fishing they had learned to leave the shore and cast their nets into the deep, in the same way they would become apostles capable of sailing upon the open seas of the world, of going out to meet their brothers and sisters and proclaiming the joy of the Gospel. This is the dynamism of the Word: it draws us into the “net” of the Father’s love and makes us apostles moved by an unquenchable desire to bring all those we encounter into the barque of the Kingdom. This is not proselytism because it is the Word of God that calls us, not our own word.

Today let us also hear the invitation to be fishers of men: let us feel that we are called by Jesus in person to proclaim his Word, to bear witness to it in everyday life, to live it in justice and charity, called to “give it flesh” by tenderly caring for those who suffer. This is our mission: to become seekers of the lost, oppressed and discouraged, not to bring them ourselves, but the consolation of the Word, the disruptive proclamation of God that transforms life, to bring the joy of knowing that He is our Father and addresses each one of us, to bring the beauty of saying, “Brother, sister, God has come close to you, listen and you will find in his Word an amazing gift!”

Brothers and sisters, I would like to conclude by simply thanking those who work to make sure that the Word of God is shared, proclaimed and put at the centre of our lives. Thank you to those who study and delve into the riches of the Word. Thank you to the pastoral workers and to all Christians engaged in the work of listening to and spreading the Word, especially lectors and catechists. Today I will confer these ministries on some of you. Thank you to those who have accepted the many invitations I have made to take the Gospel with them everywhere and to read it every day. And finally, I especially thank our deacons and priests. Thank you dear brothers, for you do not let God’s holy people be deprived of the nourishment of the Word. Thank you for committing yourselves to meditating on it, living it and proclaiming it. Thank you for your service and your sacrifices. May the sweet joy of proclaiming the Word of salvation be a consolation and reward for all of us.

22.01.23 me


Pope Francis Message for the 57th World Day of Social Communications 24.01.23

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

After having reflected in past years on the verbs “to go and see” and “to listen” as conditions for good communication, with this Message for the LVII World Day of Social Communications, I would like to focus on “speaking with the heart”. It is the heart that spurred us to go, to see and to listen, and it is the heart that moves us towards an open and welcoming way of communicating.

24.01.23


Pope Francis January 2023

For educators

We pray that educators may be credible witnesses, teaching fraternity rather than confrontation and helping the youngest and most vulnerable above all.

I would like to propose that educators add new content to their teaching: fraternity.

Education is an act of love that illuminates the path for us to recover a sense of fraternity, so we will not ignore those who are most vulnerable.

Educators are witnesses who not only impart their mental knowledge, but also their convictions, their commitment to life.

They know how to handle the three languages well: that of the head, that of the heart, and that of the hands, all in harmony. And hence the joy in communicating.

And they will be heeded much more attentively and will become community builders.

Why? Because they’re sowing this testimony.

Let us pray that educators may be credible witnesses, teaching fraternity rather than confrontation and helping especially the youngest and most vulnerable above all.

January 2023

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 Angelus 22.01.23

What must we leave behind?

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

The Gospel from today’s liturgy (Mt 4:12-23) narrates the call of the first disciples who, along the lake of Galilee leave everything to follow Jesus. He had already met some of them, thanks to John the Baptist, and God had placed the seed of faith within them (cf. Jn 1:35-39). So now, Jesus goes back to look for them where they live and work. The Lord always looks for us. The Lord always draws near to us, always. This time, he extends a direct call to them: “Follow me!” (Mt 4:19). And “immediately they left their nets and followed him” (v. 20). Let’s take a moment to reflect on this scene. This is the moment of a decisive encounter with Jesus, one they would remember their entire lives and would be included in the Gospel. From then on, they follow Jesus. And in order to follow him, they leave.

To leave so as to follow. And it is always like this with Jesus. It can begin in some way with a sense of attraction, perhaps due to others. Then the awareness can become more personal and can kindle a light in the heart. It becomes something beautiful to share: “You know, that passage from the Gospel struck me…. That service opportunity I had struck me…” – something that touches your heart. This is what happened with the first disciples (cf. Jn 1:40-42). But sooner or later, the moment comes in which it is necessary to leave so as to follow (cf. Lk 11:27-28). That is when it is necessary to make a decision: Shall I leave behind some certainties and embark on a new adventure, or shall I remain like I am? This is a decisive moment for every Christian because the meaning of everything else is at stake here. If someone does not find the courage to set out on the journey, the risk is to remain a spectator of one’s own existence and to live the faith halfway.

To stay with Jesus, therefore, requires the courage to leave, to set out on the journey. What must we leave behind? Our vices and our sins, certainly, which are like anchors that hold us at bay and prevent us from setting sail. To begin to leave, it is only right that we begin by asking forgiveness – forgiveness for the things that are not beautiful. I leave these things behind to move forward. But it is also necessary to leave behind what holds us back from living fully, for example, fear, selfish calculations, the guarantees that come from staying safe, just getting by. It also means giving up the time wasted on so many useless things. How beautiful it would be to leave all this in order to experience, for example, the tiring but rewarding risk of service, or to dedicate time to prayer so as to grow in friendship with the Lord. I am also thinking of a young family who leaves behind a quiet life to open themselves up to the unpredictable and beautiful adventure of motherhood and fatherhood. It is a sacrifice, but all it takes is one look at a child to understand that it was the right choice to leave behind certain rhythms and comforts to have this joy. I am also thinking, of certain professionals, for example, doctors or healthcare workers, who give up a lot of free time to study and prepare themselves, and who do good, dedicating many hours day and night, and spend so much physical and mental energy for the sick. I think of workers who leave behind convenience, who let go of doing nothing so as to put food on the table. In short, to live life, we need to accept the challenge to leave. Today, Jesus extends this invitation to each of us.

So, I leave you with a question about this. First of all: Can I remember a “strong moment” in which I have already encountered Jesus? Each of us can recall our own story – in my life, has there been a significant moment when I encountered Jesus? And, is there something beautiful and significant that happened in my life because of which I left other less important things? And today, is there something Jesus asks me to give up? What are the material things, ways of thinking, attitudes I need to leave behind so as to truly say “yes”? May Mary help us to respond with a total “yes” to God, like she did, to know what to leave behind so as to follow him better. Do not be afraid to leave if it is to follow Jesus. We will always find that we are better.


Dear brothers and sisters!

This Third Sunday of Ordinary Time is dedicated in a special way to the Word of God. Let us rediscover with awe the fact that God speaks to us, especially through the Sacred Scriptures. Let us read them, study them, meditate on them, pray over them. Let us read a passage from the Bible every day, especially from the Gospel. Jesus speaks to us there, he enlightens us, he guides us. And I remind you of something I have said other times: Let’s have a small Gospel, a pocket-size Gospel, to take in your bag, always with us. And when there is a moment during the day, read something from the Gospel. It is Jesus who accompanies us. So, a small pocket-size Gospel always with us.

22.01.23 ae

Pope Francis Angelus 22.01.23

Sunday of the Word of God

Today I would like to express my wish for peace and every good to all those in the Far East, and in various parts of the world, who are celebrating the Lunar New Year. Nevertheless, on this joyous occasion, I cannot fail to mention my spiritual nearness to those who are going through difficult times due to the coronavirus pandemic, with the hope that these present difficulties might soon be overcome. Lastly, I hope that the kindness, sensitivity, solidarity and harmony that are being experienced in the families who are reunited in these days as is customary, might ever more permeate and characterize our family and social relationships so as to live a serene and happy life. Happy New Year!


Sadly, my thought turns in particular to Myanmar, where the Church of Our Lady of the Assumption in the Village of Can Thar – one of the most ancient and important places of worship in the country – was burned and destroyed. I am close to the helpless civilian population subject to severe trials in many cities. Please God that this conflict will soon come to an end, opening a new period of forgiveness, love and peace. Let us pray together to Our Lady for Myanmar.

I also invite you to pray that the acts of violence in Peru might cease. Violence quenches the hope for a just solution to problems. I encourage all the parties involved to undertake the path of dialogue as brothers of the same nation, in full respect for human rights and the rule of law. I join the Peruvian Bishops in saying: ¡No a la violencia, venga de donde venga! ¡No más muertes! [No to violence wherever it comes from! No more deaths!]

Positive signs are coming from Cameroon that bring the hope of progress toward the resolution of the conflict in the English-speaking regions. I encourage all the parties who have signed the Agreement to persevere on the path of dialogue and mutual understanding, for only through encounter can the future be designed.

In these days, as we pray in particular for the full unity of all Christians, please, let us not forget, to pray for peace for war-torn Ukraine. May the Lord comfort and sustain that people who are suffering so much! They are suffering so much!

I wish all of you a good Sunday.

And please do not forget to pray for me. Enjoy your lunch and arrivederci.

22.01.23

Pope Francis Video Message 20.01.23

To Young People preparing for World Youth Day Lisbon 2023


Pope Francis Holy Mass 22.01.23

Sunday of the Word of God



Subject Index