Pope Francis - Holy Mass Casa Santa Marta (Domus Sanctae Marthae) 31.03.20
Talks about serpents, evil, the devil, sin and Jesus
The serpent is certainly not a friendly animal: it is always associated with evil. Even in Revelation, the serpent is the very animal that the devil uses to cause sin. In the Book of Revelation the devil is called the "ancient serpent.", the one who from the beginning bites, poisons, destroys, kills. That's why he can't succeed. He is someone who proposes beautiful things if you want to succeed, but these are a fantasy: we believe them and so we sin. This is what happened to the people of Israel Numbers 21: 4-9.
Jesus raised: on the cross. Moses makes a serpent and mounts it. Jesus will be lifted up, like the serpent, to give salvation. . But the truth that comes from God is that He came into the world to take our sins upon Himself. We need to get used to looking at the crucifix in this light. I'm raised up like a serpent, as something that's completely sinful.
It is not easy to understand this and, if we think about it, we will never arrive at a conclusion. We can only, contemplate, pray and give thanks.
Pope Francis - Holy Mass Casa Santa Marta (Domus Sanctae Marthae) 30.03.20
Talks about Corruption, Hypocrites and that God walks with us
In the Psalm, we prayed: "The Lord is my shepherd: There is nothing I shall want. Fresh and green are the pastures where he gives me repose, near restful waters he leads me to revive my drooping spirit. He guides me on the right path. He is true to his name. If I should walk in the valley of darkness, no evil will I fear. You are there with your crook and your staff. With these you give me comfort."
This is the experience that these two women had, whose story we read in the two Readings. An innocent woman, falsely accused, slandered, and a sinful woman. Both sentenced to death. One fell into the hands of the hypocrites and the other into the hands of the corrupt: there was no way out. Both women were in a valley of darkness. The first explicitly trusts God, and the Lord intervened. The second, poor woman, knows that she is guilty, but surely she prayed inside, asked for some help.
What does the Lord do with these people? He saves the innocent woman . To the sinful woman, He forgives her. The corrupt judges, He condemns them; and the hypocrites, He helps them to convert . ; He does not forgive the corrupt, simply because the corrupt are incapable of asking for forgiveness, the corrupt are sure of themselves, they go ahead, they destroy, they exploit people, like this woman, everything, everything ... goes on. They put themselves in God's place.
Each of us has our own stories. Each of us has our own sins. And if you don't remember them, think a little: you'll find them. And pray, with confidence in God's mercy, pray for forgiveness.
Pope Francis - Holy Mass Casa Santa Marta (Domus Sanctae Marthae) 28.03.20
Talks about serving the Poor and Coronavirus
John 7: 40-53 There is a rift in the people: the people who follow Jesus and listen to Him and the group of doctors of the Law who reject Jesus because He does not follow the law, according to them. This rift between the elite of religious leaders and the people is a drama that comes from a long time ago.
The problem of the elites, of elite clerics like these, is that they had lost the memory of their belonging to God's people; they were sophisticated, they had moved to another social class, they felt authoritative. This is clericalism. "But why – I have heard these days – why do these sisters, these priests who are healthy why do they go to the poor to feed them, and they can get the coronavirus? But tell the superior mother that you will not let the sisters out, tell the bishop that not to let the priests out! They are for the sacraments! But it is for the government to provide food!" This is what we are saying these days: the same theme. "The second-class people: we're the upper class, we don't have to get our hands dirty with the poor."
Many times I think: there are good people – priests, sisters – who do not have the courage to go and serve the poor. Something's missing. The same thing that the doctors of the law lacked. They have lost their memory, they have lost what Jesus felt in His heart: that He was a part of His people.
Let us also think today of so many men and women who are qualified in the service of God who are good and go to serve the people; so many priests who do not separate themselves from the people.
Let us think, each of us, which side we are on, if we are in the middle, a little undecided, if we are among the faithful people of God, with the faithful people of God who cannot fail.
Pope Francis - Holy Mass Casa Santa Marta (Domus Sanctae Marthae) 27.03.20
Talks about Persecution and the devil
Let us think of the beginning of the Book of Job: God is satisfied with Job's way of life, and the devil says to him: "Yes, because he has everything, he hasn't been tested! Put him to the test!" And first the devil takes away his possessions, then he takes away his health and Job never, never distances himself from God. But the devil, what does he do: torture. All the time.
Behind every hardship is the devil, to destroy God's work. When there is fierceness, there is no doubt: there is the presence of the devil. And he does it very subtly. Let us think of how the devil has been fierce not only against Jesus, but also in the persecution of Christians; how he sought the most sophisticated means to bring them to apostasy, to move them away from God. This is, as we say in daily speech, this is diabolical: yes; diabolical intelligence.
And what do you do at the time of the hardship? Only two things can be done: discussing with these people is not possible because they have their own ideas, fixed ideas, ideas that the devil has sown in their hearts. What Jesus did: to remain silent. It is the silence of the just in the face of persecution. And this is also valid for – let's call them so – the little daily hardships, when some of us feel that there is a chatter there, against him, and they say things and then nothing comes out ... shut up. Silence.
Let us ask the Lord for the grace to fight against the evil spirit, to discuss when we need to discuss; but in the face of the spirit of persecution, to have the courage to remain silent .
Pope Francis - Holy Mass Casa Santa Marta (Domus Sanctae Marthae) 26.03.20
Talks about Idolatry
In the first Reading there is the scene of the mutiny of the people. Moses went to the Mountain to receive the Law. But the people made a calf at Horeb, and worshiped an image of metal. ...".
Idolatry is always selective: it makes you think about the good things it gives you but doesn't allow you to see the bad things. In this case, they remembered their meals at the table and how good they were and how much they liked them, but they forgot that this was the table of slavery.
Idolatry is selective. Idolatry makes you lose everything. This mechanism also happens to us: when we have attitudes that lead us to idolatry, we are attached to things that distance us from God, because we make another god and we do so with the gifts that the Lord has given us. With our intelligence, with our will, with our love, with our heart ... it is the very gifts of God that we use to make idolatry.
The question we should ask today is: what is the idol that you have in your heart, in my heart. That hidden place where I feel good, that distances me from the living God. And we also have a very clever behaviour with idolatry: we know how to hide idols.
The Evangelist Luke could only know this from the account of Our Lady. Listening to Luke, we listened to Our Lady recount this mystery. We're before a mystery. Perhaps the best that we can do now is to reread this passage, thinking that it was Our Lady who told it.
At that time, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town in Galilee, called Nàzareth, to a virgin, betrothed to a man of David's house, named Joseph. The virgin's name was Mary. And coming to her, he said, "Hail, full of grace: the Lord is with you." She was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, because you have found favour with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb, and bear a son and you will name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever and of his kingdom there will be no end." But Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?" The angel replied to her: "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore, the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, in her old age has also conceived a son and this is the sixth month for her, who was called barren: for nothing will be impossible to God." Then Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord: may it be done to me according to your word." Then the angel departed from her.
This is the mystery.
Pope Francis - Holy Mass Casa Santa Marta (Domus Sanctae Marthae) 24.03.20
Talks about Complaining
In the first reading there was a man who had been ill for 38 years. 38 years there, waiting for healing. It makes us think. It's a bit long isn't it? Jesus, seeing him lying there, and knowing the reality, that he had been there for a long time, said to him, "Do you want to be healed?" And the answer is interesting: he doesn't say yes, he complains.
But the answer should have been, "Yes, I want to be healed!" But no, it's complaining, "It's the others who get there first, always the others."
The sin of surviving on complaining about the lives of others: the sin of sadness that is the seed of the devil.
It makes me think of so many of us, of so many Christians who live in this state of apathy, unable to do anything but complaining about everything. And apathy is a poison, it is a fog that surrounds the soul and does not make us live. And also, it's a drug because if you taste it often, you like it.
And let us also think of ourselves, if any of us have the danger of slipping into this apathy, into this neutral sin. And this is a sin that the devil can use to drown our spiritual life and also our personal life. May the Lord help us understand how awful and how evil this sin is.
Pope Francis - Holy Mass Casa Santa Marta (Domus Sanctae Marthae) 23.03.20
Talks about Prayer
There are three things that are necessary to make a prayer that is well done.
The first is faith. And many times, prayer does not come from the faith of the heart; or is it a weak faith.. Do I have faith or is it a habit? Let us be careful in prayer: do not fall into the routine, without the consciousness that the Lord is there, that I am speaking with the Lord and that he is able to resolve problems.
The second condition that Jesus Himself teaches us is perseverance. If the Lord makes you wait, knock, knock, knock, in the end the Lord will give the grace. Take prayer seriously, not like parrots: blah blah blah blah and nothing more.
And the third thing God wants in prayer is courage. The courage to remain there asking and moving forward, indeed, almost... – almost, I do not mean heresy – but almost as if threatening the Lord.
In these days it is necessary to pray more. Imagine if were to pray like this. With the faith that the Lord can intervene. With perseverance and with courage. The Lord never deludes. He may make us wait. He takes His time but He never deludes.
Pope Francis - Holy Mass Casa Santa Marta (Domus Sanctae Marthae) 19.03.20
Talks about St Joseph and the Church
I am thinking of the Church today on this solemnity of St. Joseph. Are our faithful, our bishops, our priests, our consecrated and consecrated fathers, our Popes: are they capable of entering into the mystery? Or do they need to be in control through rules and regulations which defend them against what they can't control? When the Church loses the possibility of entering into the mystery, she loses the ability to adore. Prayer of adoration can only come when one enters into the mystery of God.
Let us ask the Lord for the grace that the Church can live in the concreteness of daily life and also in the "concreteness" – in quotation marks – of the mystery. If it cannot do so, it will be a half a Church, it will be a pious association, carried out by rules and regulations but without the sense of adoration.
I invite all those who are far away to follow Mass on television to do spiritual communion.
Pope Francis - Holy Mass Casa Santa Marta (Domus Sanctae Marthae) 18.03.20
Talks about God walking with us
Our God is the God of nearness, a God who is near, who walks with his people.
And man's first response, in the first pages of the Bible, is that of not drawing near. Our response is always to distance ourselves, we distance ourselves from God. He gets close and we walk away.
Man rejects God's closeness, he wants to be in control of relationships, and closeness always brings with it some type of vulnerability. The "God who draws near" speaks to us of humility. He's not a "great God," up there. No. He is very near. He's in the house. And we see this in Jesus, God made man, near even to death.
Our God is near and asks us to be near to each other, not to distance ourselves from each other. And in this moment of crisis because of the pandemic that we are experiencing, this nearness asks us to manifest it more, to make it more visible. We cannot, perhaps, draw near physically for fear of contagion, but we can reawaken in ourselves an attitude of closeness between us: with prayer, with help, so many ways of drawing near.
Pope Francis - Holy Mass Casa Santa Marta (Domus Sanctae Marthae) 17.03.20
Pope Francis: Talks about Forgiveness
You must always forgive. And it's not easy, to forgive. Because our selfish heart is always attached to hatred, revenge, resentment. We have all seen families destroyed by hate in the family that gets passed down in the family from one generation to the next.
It seems that it is stronger to cling to hatred than to love, and this is precisely the treasure – let's say so – of the devil. He always occupies himself among our grudges, among our hates and makes them grow, keeps them there to destroy.
When God forgives us, he forgets all the evil we have done. God loses the memory of the awful stories of so many sinners, of our sins. He forgives us and he goes on. He only asks us: "Do the same: learn to forgive", do not carry on this unfruitful cross of hatred, and resentment, "you will pay for it". This word is neither Christian nor human.
Forgiveness is a condition for entering heaven. When we go to confession, to receive the sacrament of reconciliation, let us first ask ourselves, "Do I forgive?" If I feel that I do not forgive, do not pretend to ask forgiveness, because I will not be forgiven.
Pope Francis - Holy Mass Santa Marta (Domus Sanctae Marthae) 16.03.20
Our God makes us understand that He always acts in simplicity: in simplicity, in the house of Nazareth, in the simplicity of everyday work, in the simplicity of prayer... The simple things. Instead, the worldly spirit leads us towards vanity, towards appearances...
Indignation is an ugly temptation that leads to violence.
It is the indignation of the proud, of the proud ... but with a poverty of spirit that is really awful, of the proud who live only with the illusion of being more than they are. It is a spiritual "illness", people who are indignant: indeed, many times these people need to be indignant, to be indignant to feel like they are someone.
This too can happen to us. To scandalize those things such as the simplicity of God, the simplicity of the poor, the simplicity of Christians, as if to say: "But this is not God. No, no. Our God is more cultured, he is wiser, he is more important. God cannot act in this simplicity." And always indignation leads you to violence; both physical violence and verbal violence, which always kills like physical violence.
Pope Francis - Holy Mass Santa Marta (Domus Sanctae Marthae) 10.03.20
Today the Lord calls all of us sinners to dialogue with him, because sin locks us within ourselves, makes us hide ourselves or hide our truth within.
The sinner, when he feels shame, then he is tempted to hide. And the Lord calls us: "Come on, come, let us discuss - says the Lord - let us talk about your sin, let us talk about your situation. Don't be afraid. No ...". He continues: "Even if your sins are like scarlet, they will turn snow-white. "Come, because I am capable of changing everything," the Lord tells us, "do not be afraid to come and speak, be brave even with your miseries."
Instead of going to talk to the Lord, we pretend not to be sinners. Appearance, vanity. To cover the truth of our hearts with vanity. Vanity never heals! Vanity never heals. Rather, it is poisonous, it goes on bringing the disease in your heart, bringing you that hardness of heart that tells you: "No, do not go to the Lord, do not go. Stay by yourself."
Vanity always invites us to cover it up. May the Lord help us.
Pope Francis - Holy Mass Santa Marta (Domus Sanctae Marthae) 09.03.20
Pope Francis: talks about sin, shame and God's forgiveness
In these days, I will offer Mass for those who are sick from the coronavirus epidemic, for the doctors, nurses, volunteers who are helping them, for their families, for the elderly in nursing homes, for prisoners.
As we prepare to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation, we must do what is called an "examination of conscience" and see what I have done before God: I have sinned. Recognizing sin. But this recognition of sin cannot be just to make a list of intellectual sins, to say "I have sin", then I say it to the Father and the Father forgives me.
It takes one step, one more step, which is the confession of our miseries, but from the heart.
When I recognize that I have sinned, and I feel this in my heart, there is this feeling of shame: "I am ashamed to have done this. I ask your forgiveness with shame." And shame for our sins is a grace.
When we have not only the memory, the memory of the sins we have done, but also the feeling of shame, it touches God's heart and he responds with mercy.