05 2020

Casa Santa Marta May 2020

Pope Francis - Holy Mass Casa Santa Marta (Domus Sanctae Marthae)


I will not leave you orphans

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

When Jesus takes his leave of the disciples (John 14: 15-21), Jesus gives them tranquillity and peace, with a promise: "I will not leave you orphans" (v. 18). He defends them from that pain, from that painful sense of being orphans. Today in the world there is a great sense of being orphans: many have many things, but the Father is missing. And in the history of humanity this is repeated: when the Father is missing, something is lacking and there is always the desire to meet, to find the Father, even in ancient myths.

Today we can say that we live in a society where the Father is missing, a sense of being orphans that touches belonging and fraternity. For this reason Jesus promises: "I will ask the Father and he will give you another Advocate" (v. 16). "I am leaving," Jesus says, "but another will come and teach you the way to the Father. He will remind you how to access the Father." The Holy Spirit does not come to make us his clients; he comes to show us the way to the Father, to remind us how to access the Father, which is what Jesus opened to us, what Jesus showed us. There is no spirituality only of the Son, only of the Holy Spirit: the centre is the Father. The Son is sent by the Father and returns to the Father. The Holy Spirit is sent by the Father to remind us and teach us how to access the Father.

Only with this awareness of being children who are not orphans can we live in peace among ourselves. Always wars, both small wars or big wars, always have a dimension of being orphans: the Father who makes peace is missing.

The Holy Spirit teaches us meekness, this sweetness of the Father's children. The Holy Spirit does not teach us to insult. And one of the consequences of the sense of orphanage is insult, wars, because if there is no Father there are no brothers and sisters, fraternity is lost. Sweetness, respect, meekness are attitudes of belonging, of belonging to a family that is sure they have a Father.

Let us ask the Holy Spirit to always, always remind us of this access to the Father, that He reminds us that we have a Father, and to this civilization, which has a great sense of being orphaned. may He grant them the grace to find the Father, the Father who gives meaning to all life and makes men and women a family.

Pope Francis - Holy Mass Casa Santa Marta (Domus Sanctae Marthae)


What is the spirit of the world?

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

Jesus speaks of the world several times, and especially in his farewell address to the apostles, (John 15: 18-21). And here he says, "If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first" (v. 18). Clearly he is speaking of the hatred that the world had towards Jesus and will have towards us. And in the prayer he says at the table with the disciples at the Last Supper, he asks the Father not to take them out of the world, but to defend them from the spirit of the world.

I believe that we can ask ourselves: what is the spirit of the world? What is this worldliness, capable of hating, of destroying Jesus and his disciples, even of corrupting them and of corrupting the Church? What is the spirit of the world, what is it, it will do us good to think about it. It is a style of life, worldliness. But some people think it's worldliness to party, to live in parties. No, no. It could be that, but it's not that essentially.

Worldliness is a culture; it is a culture of the ephemeral, a culture of appearance, of make up, a culture "of today yes tomorrow no, tomorrow yes and today no". It has superficial values. A culture that knows no fidelity, because it changes according to circumstances, everything is negotiable. This is the worldly culture, the culture of worldliness. And Jesus insists on defending us from this and prays that the Father will defend us from this culture of worldliness. It's a throw-away culture, according to what's convenient. It's a culture without fidelity, it has no roots. But it is a way of life, a way of life also of many who say they are Christians. They are Christians but they are worldly.

Jesus, in the parable of the seed that falls into the earth, says that the preoccupations of the world, that is worldliness, stifle the Word of God, does not allow it to grow. And to survive the preaching of the Gospel, it hates, it kills.

When we speak about the martyrs who are killed out of hatred of the faith, yes it is true, for some, hatred was for a theological problem; but they weren't the majority. In most cases it is worldliness that hates faith and kills them, as they did with Jesus.

There is one thing that worldliness does not tolerate: the scandal of the Cross. It will not tolerate it. And the only medicine against the spirit of worldliness is Christ who died and rose for us, scandal and foolishness.

That is why when the Apostle John in his first letter deals with the theme of the world, he says: "The victory that conquers the world is our faith"(1 John 5: 4). The only one: faith in Jesus Christ, who died and rose. And that doesn't mean being fanatical. This does not mean neglecting to have dialogue with all people, no, but it's about the conviction of faith, starting from the scandal of the Cross, the foolishness of Christ and also the victory of Christ. "This is our victory," says John, "our faith."

Let us ask the Holy Spirit for the grace to discern what is worldliness and what is the Gospel, and to not be deceived, because the world hates us, the world hated Jesus and Jesus prayed that the Father would defend us from the spirit of the world.

Pope Francis - Holy Mass Casa Santa Marta (Domus Sanctae Marthae)


Where there is rigidity there is no Spirit of God

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

In the Book of the Acts of the Apostles we see that in the early Church, there were times of peace, it says so many times:the Church grew, in peace, and the Spirit of the Lord spread.

There were also times of persecution and there were also times of turmoil. And this is the subject of today's first Reading: a time of turmoil (Acts 15: 22-31). The apostles wrote to Christians who had converted from paganism, "We have heard that some of us, without any mandate from us have upset you with their teachings and have disturbed your peace of mind" (15: 24).

What had happened? These Christians who were pagans had believed in Jesus Christ and had received baptism, and they were happy: they had received the Holy Spirit. From paganism to Christianity, without any intermediate stage. Instead, these people who were called "the Judaizers," argued that this could not be done. If someone was a pagan, they first had to become a Jew, a good Jew, and then become a Christian, to be in line with the election of the people of God. And these Christians did not understand this: "But how are we second-class Christians? Can't we go from paganism directly to Christianity? Isn't it that the resurrection of Christ has dissolved the ancient law and brought it to an even greater fullness?" They were upset and there were so many discussions between them. And this called into question the freedom of the Holy Spirit, even the gratuitousness of Christ's resurrection and grace. They were methodical. And also rigid.

These people, were "ideological": "you must do this, and this, and this...". A religion of prescriptions, and with this they took away the freedom of the Holy Spirit.

For this reason, I say that rigidity is not from the good Spirit, because it calls into question the gratuitousness of redemption, the gratuitousness of Christ's resurrection. And even in our time we saw some apostolic organizations that seemed just well organized, that worked well..., but all rigid, all exactly the same as the other, and then we learned about the corruption that was inside, even in the founders.

Where there is rigidity there is no Spirit of God, because the Spirit of God is freedom.

The way forward is beautiful: the apostles come together in this council and in the end write a letter that says: "It is the decision of the Holy Spirit and of us not to place on you any other burdens beyond these essentials"; morals of common sense. These troubled Christians gathered in the assembly and were delighted with the encouragement it gave them"(v. 31). From turmoil to joy. The spirit of rigidity always leads you to turmoil. The spirit of evangelical freedom leads you to joy.

The relationship with God, the relationship with Jesus is not a relationship, of "doing things": "I do this and You give me this". No! It is free, as is Jesus' relationship with the disciples. "You are my friends".

Let us ask the Lord to help us discern the fruits of evangelical gratuitousness from the fruits of non-evangelical rigidity, and to free us from any turmoil of those who put faith, the life of faith under detailed prescriptions, prescriptions that make no sense. I am referring to these prescriptions that make no sense, not the Commandments. Let us free ourselves from this spirit of rigidity that takes away your freedom.

Pope Francis - Holy Mass Casa Santa Marta (Domus Sanctae Marthae)


May God stop this tragedy, stop this pandemic

Full transcript below

The Higher Committee for Human Fraternity called for a day of prayer and fasting today, to ask God for mercy at this tragic time of the pandemic. We are all brothers and sisters. St. Francis of Assisi said: "All brothers and sisters." And for this reason, men and women of every religious denomination unite today in prayer and penance to ask for the grace of healing from this pandemic.

In the first Reading we heard the story of Jonah, in a style of the time. Since there was "some pandemic", we do not know, in the city of Nineveh, a "moral pandemic" perhaps, the city was about to be destroyed (Jonah 3: 1-10). And God sends Jonah to preach to them: prayer and penance, prayer and fasting (3: 7-8). In the face of that pandemic, Jonah was frightened and ran away (Jonah 1: 1-3). Then the Lord called him for the second time, and he agreed to go and preach (Jonah 3: 1-2). And today all of us, brothers and sisters of every religious tradition, pray: a day of prayer and fasting, of penance, called by the Higher Committee for Human Fraternity. Each of us prays, communities pray, religious denominations pray, they pray to God: all brothers and sisters, united in the brotherhood that unites us in this time of suffering and tragedy.

We weren't expecting this pandemic, it came most unexpectedly, but now it's here. And a lot of people are dying. So many people die alone and so many people die without being able to do anything. Many times the thought can come: "It hasn't affected me, thank God I'm saved." But think of the others! Think about the tragedy and also the economic consequences, the consequences for education, the consequences... what happens next. And for this reason today, all of us, brothers and sisters, of every religious denomination, pray to God. Perhaps there will be someone who will say, "This is religious relativism and it cannot be done." But how can we not pray to the Father of all? Everyone prays as he knows, how he can, according to his own culture. We are not praying against each other, this religious tradition against this, no! We are all united as human beings, as brothers and sisters, praying to God, according to our own culture, according to our own tradition, according to our own beliefs, but brothers and sisters and praying to God, this is the important thing! Brothers and sisters fasting together, asking God for forgiveness for our sins, so that the Lord may have mercy on us, may the Lord forgive us, may the Lord stop this pandemic. Today is a day of fraternity, looking towards the one Father, brothers and sisters and fatherhood. A day of prayer.

We, last year, indeed in November last year, did not know what a pandemic was: it came like a flood, it came suddenly. We're waking up a little bit now. But there are so many other pandemics that make people die and we don't notice, we look the other way. We are a little unconscious in the face of the tragedies that are happening in the world right now. I would just like to tell you an official statistic from the first four months of this year, which does not mention the coronavirus pandemic, it speaks of another. In the first four months of this year, 3.7 million people died of starvation. There is the pandemic of hunger. In four months, almost 4 million people. This prayer today to ask the Lord to stop this pandemic, must make us think of the other pandemics in the world. There are so many! The pandemic of wars, hunger and many others. But the important thing is that today - together and thanks to the courage that this Higher Committee for Human Fraternity had - together, we were invited to pray each according to their own tradition and to make this a day of penance, fasting and also charity, to help others. That's the important thing. In the book of Jonah we heard that the Lord, when he saw how the people had reacted, had converted, the Lord stopped, stopped what He wanted to do.

May God stop this tragedy, stop this pandemic. May God have mercy on us and stop the other awful pandemics: of hunger, of war, of children without education. And we ask him as brothers and sisters all together. May God bless all of us and have mercy on us.

Pope Francis - Holy Mass Casa Santa Marta (Domus Sanctae Marthae)


Remain in me and I in you - a mystery of life

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

The Lord returns to "remain in Him", and tells us: "Christian life is to remain in me." Remain (John 15: 1-8). And here he uses the image of the vine, how the branches remain on the vine. And this remain is not a passive remain, a falling asleep in the Lord: this would perhaps be a beatific sleep; but that's not it. This remain is an active remain, and also is a mutual remain. Why? Because He says, "Remain in me and I in you" (v .4). He also remains in us, not only us in Him.

This is a mystery of life, a beautiful mystery. With the example of the vine: it is true, the branches without the vine can do nothing because the sap doesn't get to them, they need the sap to grow and to bear fruit. But also the tree, the vine needs branches, otherwise the fruits are not attached to the tree, to the vine. It is a mutual need, it is a reciprocal remain to bear fruit.

And this is Christian life: it is true, Christian life is to carry out the commandments (Ex 20, 1-11), this must be done. Christian life is to follow the way of the Beatitudes (Mt 5: 1-13): this must be done. Christian life is to carry on the works of mercy, as the Lord teaches us in the Gospel (Mt 25: 35-36): and this must be done. But even more: it is this mutual remaining. We without Jesus cannot do anything, like the branches without the vine. And He – let me say it – without us it seems that He can do nothing, because the fruit comes from the branches, not the tree, the vine. In this community, in this intimacy of remaining fruitful, the Father and Jesus remain in me and I remain in Them.

What is the need that the tree, the vine has for the branches? It's bearing fruit. What is the need - let's say a little boldly - what is the need that Jesus has for us? The testimony. When he says in the Gospel that we are light, he says, "Be the light, so that men may see your good deeds and glorify the Father"(Mt 5:16), that is, witness is the need that Jesus has for us. To bear witness to his name, so that faith, the Gospel grows by our testimony.

And He remains in us to give us the strength to the bear fruit (John 15: 5), to give us the strength to witness with which the Church grows.

What is the relationship between Jesus remaining in me and I remaining in Him? It's a relationship of intimacy, a mystical relationship, a wordless relationship. "But Father, but this, let the mystics do it!" No, this is for all of us. With small thoughts: "Lord, I know you are there: give me strength and I will do what you tell me." That intimate dialogue with the Lord. The Lord is present, the Lord is present in us, the Father is present in us, the Holy Spirit is present in us; they remain in us. But I have to remain in Them.

May the Lord help us to understand, to feel this mystery of remaining on which Jesus insists so much. The Father: the one that bears fruit he prunes and those that don't bear fruit he cuts and throws away (John 15: 1-2). It's true, he does this, but that's not all, no. There's more. This is the help: the trials, the difficulties of life, even the corrections that the Lord gives us. But let's not stop there. Between the vine and the branches there is this intimate remaining. We, the branches, need the sap, and the vine needs the fruits, our testimony.

Pope Francis - Holy Mass Casa Santa Marta (Domus Sanctae Marthae)


Am I calm in my peace "Do I fall asleep"?

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

The Lord greets his people before leaving and gives then the gift of peace (John 14: 27-31), the peace of the Lord: "I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you" (14: 27). It is not about universal peace, that peace without wars that we all want to be there always, but the peace of the heart, the peace of the soul, the peace that each of us has within us. And the Lord gives it but, emphasises, "not as the world gives".

How does the world give peace and how does the Lord give it? Are they different types of peace? Yes. The world gives you "inner peace", the peace of your life, this living with your heart in peace. It gives you inner peace as your possession, as a thing that is yours and isolates you from others, keeps you in you, it is your acquisition: I have peace.

And in this tranquillity, in this happiness you fall asleep a little; it anesthetizes you and makes you stay with yourself in a certain tranquillity. It's a little selfish. It's an expensive peace because you have to constantly change the instruments of peace: when you get excited about one thing, it gives you peace, then it ends and you have to find another. It's temporary and sterile.

Instead, the peace that Jesus gives is something else. It's a peace that sets you in motion: it doesn't isolate you, it sets you up, it makes you go to others, it creates communities, it creates communication. That of the world is expensive, Jesus' is free, it is free; it is a gift from the Lord: the peace of the Lord. It's fruitful, it always moves you forward. The peace of the Lord is open to where he has gone, is open to Heaven, is open to Paradise. It is a fruitful peace that opens oneself up and also brings others with you to Paradise.

What is my peace, where do I find peace? In things, in well-being, in travel – but now, today we cannot travel – in possessions, in so many things, or do I find peace as a gift of the Lord? Do I have to pay for peace or do I receive it for free from the Lord? What is my peace? When I miss something, do I get angry? This is not the Peace of the Lord. This is one of the tests. Am I calm in my peace, "Do I fall asleep"? It's not the Lord's. Am I at peace and want to communicate it to others and accomplish something? That is the peace of the Lord! Even in bad, difficult times, does that peace remain in me? It's the Lord's. And the peace of the Lord is fruitful also for me because it is full of hope, that is, it looks toward Heaven.

The one that Jesus gives us, is a peace for now and for the future. It is to start living in Heaven, with the fruitfulness of Heaven. It's not anaesthesia. The other, yes: you anaesthetize yourself with the things of the world and when the dose of this anaesthesia ends you take another and another and another. This is a definitive, fruitful and contagious peace. It is not narcissistic, because it always looks to the Lord. The other one looks at you, it's a little narcissistic.

May the Lord give us this peace full of hope, which makes us fruitful, makes us communicative with others, that creates community and that always looks to the definitive peace of Heaven.

Pope Francis - Holy Mass Casa Santa Marta (Domus Sanctae Marthae)


The Holy Spirit will help you move forward, remember, discern, and grow

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

Today's Gospel passage is Jesus' farewell at the Last Supper (John 14: 21-26). The Lord ends with this verse: "I have told you this while I am with you. The Advocate, the Holy Spirit that the Father will send in my name, he will teach you everything and remind you of all I told you" (14: 25-26). It is the promise of the Holy Spirit; the Holy Spirit who lives in us and who the Father and the Son send.

"The Father will send him in my name," Jesus said, to accompany us in life. And they call him the Paraclete or Advocate. This is the role of the Holy Spirit. In Greek, the Paràclete is the one who supports, who accompanies so that you don't fall, who keeps you firm, who is close to you to support you. And the Lord has promised us this support, who is God like him: he is the Holy Spirit.

What does the Holy Spirit do in us?

Teaching and remembering. This is the role of the Holy Spirit. He teaches us: he teaches us the mystery of faith, he teaches us to enter into the mystery, to understand the mystery a little more. He teaches us the doctrine of Jesus and teaches us how to develop our faith without making mistakes, because doctrine grows, but always in the same direction: it grows in understanding. And the Holy Spirit helps us grow in understanding faith, understanding it more, understanding what faith says. Faith is not a static thing; doctrine is not a static thing: it grows. It grows as the trees grow, always the same, but larger, with fruit, but always the same, in the same direction. And the Holy Spirit prevents doctrine being wrong, it prevents it from standing still there, without growing in us. He will teach us the things that Jesus has taught us, he will develop in us an understanding of what Jesus has taught us, he will grow the doctrine of the Lord in us, to maturity.

And another thing Jesus says, that the Holy Spirit does, is to remind. He wakes us up: "But remember that, remember the other"; he keeps us awake, always awake in the Lord's things, and also reminds us of our lives: "Think of that moment, think about when you met the Lord, think about when you left the Lord."

I once heard that one person prayed before the Lord like this: "Lord, I am the same one who, as a child, as a boy, had these dreams. Then, I went along the wrong paths. Now you've called me." I am the same: this is the memory of the Holy Spirit in one's life.

And in this memory, the Holy Spirit guides us; guides us to discern, to discern what I have to do now, what is the right path and what is wrong, even in small decisions. If we ask the Holy Spirit for light, He will help us discern to make the right decisions, the small ones of every day, and the greatest.

The Holy Spirit is the Gift of God. The Holy Spirit is precisely the Gift. "I will not leave you alone, I will send you a Paràclete who will support you and help you move forward, remember, discern, and grow."

May the Lord help us to guard this gift that he has given us in Baptism and that we all have within us.

Pope Francis - Holy Mass Casa Santa Marta (Domus Sanctae Marthae)


Praying is going with Jesus to the Father who will give you everything

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

In this passage of the Gospel (John 14: 1-14), is Jesus' farewell speech, Jesus says he is going to the Father. And he says that he will be with the Father and that those who believe in him will accomplish the works that he does and will accomplish even greater than those, because he is going to the Father. And whatever you ask in my name, I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me something in my name, I will do it.

And when the disciples asked him to how to pray, Jesus taught them to pray the "Our Father". He always goes to the Father.This trust in the Father, trust in the Father who is able to do everything. This courage to pray, because it takes courage to pray! It takes the same courage, the same boldness as to preach.

Always the courage of the struggle in prayer, because praying is to fight: to battle with God. Praying is going with Jesus to the Father who will give you everything. Courage in prayer, frankness in prayer.

And we heard in the first Reading that conflict in the early days of the Church ( Acts 6:1-7). They murmured because their widows, their orphans were not well cared for. And Peter, enlightened by the Holy Spirit, "invented", let us say, the deacons. "Let's do something: we're looking for seven people who are good and for these men can take care of this service".

The deacon is the guardian of service in the Church. Peter says, "we will devote ourselves to prayer and the proclamation of the Word" (6: 5). This is the bishop's task: to pray and preach.

The bishop's prayer, the first task: to pray. And the people, seeing the bishop pray, learn to pray. Because the Holy Spirit teaches us that it is God who "does things. We do a little bit, but it is he who does the things for the Church, and prayer is the one that carries the Church forward.

So the Church progresses, with prayer, the courage of prayer, because the Church knows that without this access to the Father it cannot survive.

Pope Francis - Holy Mass Casa Santa Marta (Domus Sanctae Marthae)


The power of the world against the power of God

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

We recited in the Psalm "Sing a new song to the Lord for he has done wondrous deeds. His right hand and his holy arm have gave him victory. The Lord has made his salvation known. He has revealed his justice to the nations." (Psalm 98: 1-2) This is true. The Lord has done marvellous things but with how much effort. How much effort for Christian communities to carry on these marvellous deeds of Lord. We have heard in the Acts of the Apostles the joy (Acts 13: 44-52): the whole city of Antioch gathered to hear the word of the Lord, because Paul and the apostles preached strongly and the Holy Spirit helped them. But "when they saw the crowds, the Jews were filled with jealousy, and with violent abuse contradicted what Paul said." (: 45).

On the one hand there is the Lord, there is the Holy Spirit that makes the Church grow, and grow more and more, this is true. But on the other hand is the evil spirit that seeks to destroy the Church. It's always like that. Always like this. You go on, but then comes the enemy trying to destroy. The balance is always positive in the long run, but how much effort, how much pain, how much martyrdom. Always this battle.

And what is the devil's tool for destroying the Gospel proclamation? Envy. The Book of Wisdom says it clearly: "Because of the devils envy sin entered the world (Wisdom 2: 24) – envy, jealousy, here. Always this bitter, bitter feeling. These people saw how the Gospel was preached and they got angry, they were inflamed by anger. And this anger carried them on: it is the anger of the devil, it is the anger that destroys, the anger of that "crucify him! crucify him!"; of that torture of Jesus. It wants to destroy. Always. Always.

Seeing this battle, that very beautiful saying also applies to us: "The Church goes forward between the consolations of God and the persecutions of the world" .

A Church that has no difficulty lacks something. The devil is too calm. And if the devil is calm, things are not going well. Always difficulty, temptation, struggle. Jealousy that destroys. The Holy Spirit makes the harmony of the Church, and the evil spirit destroys. Even today. Always this struggle. The instrument of this jealousy, of this envy, is the temporal power.

And temporal power can be good: people can be good, but power of itself is always dangerous. The power of the world against the power of God moves all this; and always behind this, behind that power, is money.

What happens in the early Church: the work of the Holy Spirit to build the Church, to harmonize the Church, and the work of the evil spirit to destroy it, and the use of temporal powers to stop the Church, destroy the Church, is nothing more than a development of what happens on the morning of the Resurrection. The soldiers, seeing that triumph, went to the priests, and the priests "bought" the truth. And the truth has been silenced. The high priests and money.

Let us be careful, let us be careful with the preaching of the Gospel: never fall into putting trust in temporal powers and money. The trust of Christians is Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit that he has sent! And it is precisely the Holy Spirit that is the yeast, it is the strength that makes the Church grow! Yes, the Church goes forward, in peace, with resignation, joyful: between the consolations of God and the persecutions of the world.

Pope Francis - Holy Mass Casa Santa Marta (Domus Sanctae Marthae)


Talks about Consolation, Hope, Truth, Closeness, Death

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This conversation of Jesus with the disciples takes place at the table, again at the last supper (John 14: 1-6). Jesus is sad and everyone is sad: Jesus said that he would be betrayed by one of them ( John 13:21) and everyone senses that something bad would happen. Jesus begins to console them: because one of the offices, "of the works" of the Lord is consoling. The Lord consoles his disciples and here we see what Jesus' way of consoling is.

We have many ways of comforting, from the most authentic, to the those that are more formal, such as those telegrams of condolences. We too, when we have to go through moments of sadness in our lives, learn to perceive what the true consolation of the Lord is.

And in this passage of the Gospel we see that the Lord always consoles in closeness, with truth and hope. In close proximity, never distant. The beautiful words: "I am here." "I am here, with you." And so often in silence. But we know he's there.

Jesus is truthful. He doesn't say formal things that are lies. He doesn't hide the truth. And he says it simply and he also says it gently, without hurting: we are facing death.

Jesus consoles through hope. "There are many rooms in my Father's house. I'm going to prepare a place for you" (14: 2). He goes first to open the doors, the doors of that place through which we will all pass, so I hope: "I will come back again and take you with me, so that where I am you may be too" (14: 3). The Lord returns whenever any of us are on our way out of this world. . He will come and take us by the hand and take us. He doesn't say: "No, you will not suffer: it is nothing...". No. He tells the truth: "I am close to you, this is the truth: it is a bad moment, of danger, of death. But do not let your heart be troubled, remain in peace, that peace that is the basis of all consolation, because I will come and take you by the hand to where I will be."

It is not easy to be consoled by the Lord. Many times, in bad times, we get angry with the Lord and do not let him come and speak to us like this, with this tenderness, with this closeness, with this gentleness, with this truth and with this hope.

Let us ask for the grace to learn to allow ourselves be consoled by the Lord. The Lord's consolation is truthful, not deceiving. It's not anaesthesia, no. But it is close, it is truthful and he opens the doors of hope for us.

Pope Francis - Holy Mass Casa Santa Marta (Domus Sanctae Marthae)


Awareness of belonging to a people

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

When Paul is invited to speak at the synagogue in Antioch, in Pisidia, to explain this new doctrine, that is to explain Jesus, to proclaim Jesus, Paul begins by talking about the history of salvation (Acts 13: 13-25).

What is before Jesus? There's a history. A story of grace, a story of election, a story of promise.

There is a history of God with his people. And that's why when Paul is asked to explain why faith in Jesus Christ he does not begin with Jesus Christ: he begins with history. Christianity is a doctrine, yes, but not only. It is not only the things that we believe, it is a history that leads to this doctrine that is the promise of God, the covenant of God, being chosen by God.

Christianity is not just an ethic. Yes, it is true, it has moral principles, but one is not a Christian only with an ethical vision. It's more than that.

Christianity is not an elite of people chosen for the truth. This elitist sense that then goes on in the Church, doesn't it? For example, I am of that institution, I belong to this movement that is better than yours, to this, to that other... It's a sense of elitism. No, Christianity is not this: Christianity belongs to a people, to a people freely chosen by God . If we do not have this awareness of belonging to a people, we will be ideological Christians, with a small doctrine of affirmation of truth, with ethics, with morality – it is fine – or with an elite. We feel part of a group chosen by God – Christians – and others will go to hell or if they are saved it is by God's mercy, but they are the discarded. And so on. If we do not have an awareness of belonging to a people, we are not true Christians.

If someone asked me, "What is the deviation of Christians today and always for you? What would be the most dangerous deviation of Christians for you?", I would say without doubt: the lack of memory of belonging to a people. When this is missing comes dogmatism, moralism, ethicisms, elitist movements. The people are missing. A sinful people, always, we all are, but who are not wrong in general, who have the sense of being a chosen people, who walk behind a promise and who has made a covenant that we may not fulfil, but which we know.

Let us ask the Lord for this awareness of the people.

Pope Francis - Holy Mass Casa Santa Marta (Domus Sanctae Marthae)


From darkness to light

Jesus he spells out his mission: "I came into the world as light, so that everyone who believes in me might not remain in darkness" (John 12: 46). He presents himself as light. Jesus' mission is to enlighten: light. He himself said, "I am the light of the world"(John 8:12). And the mission of the apostles is to bring the light of Jesus. To enlighten. Because the world was in darkness.

But the drama of Jesus' light is that it had been rejected. "He came to what was his own, but his own people did not accept him." (John 1: 10-11) They loved darkness more than light. Getting used to darkness, living in darkness: they cannot welcome light, they cannot; they are slaves to darkness. And this will be Jesus' struggle, he continues: to enlighten, to bring the light that makes things seem as they are, as they are; makes us see freedom, shows the truth, shows the way to go, with the light of Jesus.

Paul had this experience of the transition from darkness to light, when the Lord met him on the road to Damascus. He was blinded. Blind. The light of the Lord blinded him. And then, after a few days, with baptism, the light came back .

It is also our passage, which we received sacramentally in baptism: for this reason baptism was called, in the first centuries, the Enlightenment because it gave you the light, it "made one enter".

But the people, the people, his people rejected it. They are so accustomed to darkness that the light dazzles them. And this is the drama of our sin: sin blinds us and we cannot tolerate the light. We have sick eyes. And Jesus says it clearly, in the Gospel of Matthew: "If your eye is ill, your whole body will be ill. If your eye sees only darkness, how much darkness will there be within you?" ( Mt 6: 22-23). And conversion is to move from darkness to light. But what are the things that make our eyes ill, the eyes of faith? Our eyes are sick: what are the things that "pull them down", that blind them? The vices, worldly spirit, and pride.

And also, these three things – vices, pride, the worldly spirit – lead you to associate with others to stay safe in darkness. We often talk about the mafia: it's that. But there are "spiritual mafias", there are "domestic mafias", always, looking for someone else to cover up and stay in darkness. It is not easy to live in the light. Light makes us see so many ugly things within us that we do not want to see: vices, sins.

These things blind us, distance us from the light of Jesus. But if we begin to think of these things, we will not find a wall, no: we will find an exit, because Jesus himself says that he is the light and: "I came into the world, not to condemn the world, but to save the world" ( John 12: 46-47).

The Lord saves us from the darkness that we have inside, from the darkness of daily life, of social life, of political life, of national, international life. So much darkness is in it. And the Lord saves us. But he asks us to see them first; have the courage to see our darkness so that the light of the Lord might enter and save us.

Let us not be afraid of the Lord: he is very good, he is gentle, he is close to us. He came to save us. Let us not be afraid of the light of Jesus.

Pope Francis - Holy Mass Casa Santa Marta (Domus Sanctae Marthae)


Things that prevents us from coming in to know Jesus

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

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

Jesus was in the temple, the feast of Easter was near (John 10:22-30). Even the Jews, at that time, came around him and said, "How long are you going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly (10: 24). But Jesus meekly answered them, "I told you and you do not believe" (10: 25). "But you do not believe because you are not among my sheep" (10:26). And this, perhaps, raises a doubt: I believe and I am a part of the sheep of Jesus. But if Jesus said to us: "You cannot believe because you are not a part?"

What is this to be part of Jesus' faith? What is the thing that stops me in front of the door that is Jesus?

The first of all is wealth. So many of us, who have entered through the door of the Lord, then stop and do not move forward because we are imprisoned by wealth. Wealth is an impediment to moving forward. But should we fall into poverty? No. But do not be slaves to wealth, do not live for wealth, because riches are a lord, they are the lord of this world and we cannot serve two lords.

Another thing that prevents us from moving forward in the knowledge of Jesus, and in belonging to Jesus, is rigidity. Rigidity is a security for myself. This distances us from the wisdom of Jesus, from the beauty of Jesus; it takes away your freedom. And so many pastors make this rigidity grow in the souls of the faithful, and this rigidity does not allow us enter through the door of Jesus (John 1: 7). Is it more important to observe the law as it is written or how I interpret it, rather than the freedom to move forward following Jesus?

Another thing that does not let us go forward in the knowledge of Jesus is the apathy. That tiredness.

Another is a clerical attitude. Clericalism puts itself in the place of in Jesus. It says: "No, this must be so, so..." – "But, the Master ..." – "Leave the Master aside: this is so, so, so, and if you do not do so, so, so you cannot enter." A clericalism that takes away the freedom of the faith of believers. It is a disease, in the church: the clerical attitude.

Then, another thing that prevents us from moving forward, of coming in to know Jesus and confessing Jesus is the worldly spirit. When the observance of faith, the practice of faith ends in worldliness. And everything is worldly.

These are the things that stop us from being part of Jesus' sheep. We are "sheep" of all these things: wealth, apathy, rigidity, worldliness, clericalism, ideologies. Freedom is lacking. And you cannot follow Jesus without freedom. But sometimes freedom goes too far and one slips: yes, it is true. It's true. We can slip on the way of freedom. But it is worse to slip before you go, with these things that

prevent you from starting to go towards Jesus.

May the Lord enlightens us to see within us if there is the freedom to pass through the door that is Jesus and go beyond; to become a flock, to become sheep of his flock.

Pope Francis - Holy Mass Casa Santa Marta (Domus Sanctae Marthae)


Today talks about the Church, Division, Unity, Everyone

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

When Peter went up to Jerusalem, the faithful reproached him (cf. Acts 11: 1-18). They reproached him for entering the house of uncircumcised men and of having eaten with them, with the pagans. But Peter had done it because it was the Spirit that brought him there. There is always in the Church – especially in the early Church, because it was not clear – this spirit of "we are the righteous, the others the sinners". This "us and them", "us and them", divisions: "We have the right position before God". Instead there are "the others", sometimes we say: "They are already the condemned" . And this is a disease of the Church, a disease that arises from ideologies or religious parties.

At the time of Jesus, there were at least four religious parties. They also reproached Jesus for entering the house of the tax collectors – who were sinners, according to them – and for eating with them, with sinners, because the purity of the law did not allow it; and he didn't wash his hands before lunch. There is always this reproach that makes division: this is important, and I would like to emphasize it.

There are ideas, positions that divide, to the point that division is more important than unity. My idea is more important than the Holy Spirit who guides us. There is an "emeritus" cardinal who lives here in the Vatican, a good pastor, and he said to his faithful: "But the Church is like a river, you know? Some are more on this side, some on the other side, but the important thing is that everyone is inside the river." This is the unity of the Church. No one outside, everyone inside. Then, with the peculiarities: this does not divide, it is not ideology, it is lawful. But why does the Church have this breadth of river? It's because the Lord wants it that way.

The Lord, in the Gospel, tells us: "I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. These also must I lead, and they will hear my voice and there will be one flock, one shepherd" (John 10:16). The Lord says, "I have sheep everywhere, and I am everyone's shepherd." This "everyone" in Jesus is very important.

The Lord who came for everyone and died for everyone. "But did he also die for that wretched person who made my life impossible?" He died for him, too. And also for people who do not believe in him or are of other religions: he died for everyone. That doesn't mean you have to proselytize: no. But he died for everyone, he justified everyone.

Jesus who says: "I am the shepherd of all". I'm everyone's shepherd. And who says: "I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. These also must I lead, and they will hear my voice and there will be one flock" (cf. John 10:16). It is prayer for the unity of all men, because all men and women all have one Shepherd: Jesus.

May the Lord frees us from that psychology of division, from dividing, and help us to see this of Jesus, this great thing of Jesus, that in him we are all brothers and sisters and he is the Shepherd of everyone. That word, today: "Everyone, everyone!", to accompany us throughout the day.

Pope Francis - Holy Mass Casa Santa Marta (Domus Sanctae Marthae)


The Good Shepherd

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

Three weeks after the Lord's Resurrection, the Church today on the fourth Sunday of Easter celebrates the Sunday of the Good Shepherd, Jesus the Good Shepherd.

Jesus is the shepherd - as Peter sees him - who comes to save, to save the wandering sheep: it was us.

And Jesus, in chapter 10 of John, which we have read, presents himself as the shepherd. Indeed, not only the shepherd, but the "door" through which the flock enters. All those who came and did not enter through that door were thieves or robbers or wanted to take advantage of the flock: the false shepherds. And in the history of the Church there have been many of them who exploited the flock. They weren't interested in the flock, it was just a career or politics or money. But the flock knows them, they always know them and they go in search of God by their own paths.

But when there is a good shepherd, there is a flock that goes on, that carries on. The good shepherd listens to the flock, leads the flock, heals the flock. And the flock knows how to distinguish between shepherds, it is not wrong: the flock trusts the good shepherd, trusts Jesus. Only the shepherd who resembles Jesus gives confidence to the flock. The style of Jesus must be the style of the shepherd, there is no other.

Jesus was meek. One of the signs of a good shepherd is meekness. A shepherd who is not meek is not a good shepherd. He has something hidden, because meekness shows him as he is. And furthermore, the shepherd is tender, has that tenderness of closeness, knows the sheep one by one by name and takes care of each one as if it were the only one, to the point that when he comes home after a day's work, tired, he realizes that he is missing one, goes out to work again to look for it and he brings it back with him, he carries it on his shoulders.

It is an idea of community, of tenderness, of kindness, of meekness. It is the Church that loves Jesus and he guards this Church. This Sunday is a beautiful Sunday, it is a Sunday of peace, it is a Sunday of tenderness, of meekness, because our pastor takes care of us. "The Lord is my shepherd: there is nothing I shall want."

Pope Francis - Holy Mass Casa Santa Marta (Domus Sanctae Marthae)


Faith in times of Crisis

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

The first Reading begins: "In those days the Church was at peace throughout Judea, Galilee and Samarìa. It was being built up and walked in fear of the Lord, and with the consolation of the Holy Spirit, it grew in numbers." (Acts 9: 31) A time of peace. And the Church grows. The Church is quiet, it has the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it is in consolation. The good times.

But there are times without peace, in the early Church: times of persecution, difficult times, times that put believers in crisis. Times of crisis. And a time of crisis is what the Gospel of John tells us about today (John 6: 60-69). This passage of the Gospel is the end of an entire episode that began with the multiplication of loaves, when they wanted to make Jesus king, Jesus goes to pray, they find him and Jesus reproaches them for looking for him to give food and not for the words of eternal life ... and that whole story ends here. They say to him, "Give us this bread," and Jesus explains that the bread he will give is his own body and his own blood.

At that time, many of Jesus' disciples, after hearing this, said, "This word is hard: who can accept it?" Jesus had said that those who did not eat his body and blood would not have eternal life. Jesus said, "If you eat my body and my blood, you will rise again on the last day." These are the things that Jesus said and this word is hard, it is too hard. Something's not right here. This man has gone beyond the limits. And this is a moment of crisis.

Jesus knew that the disciples were murmuring: here there is a distinction between the disciples and the apostles. The disciples were those 72 or more, the apostles were the Twelve. And from that moment, many of his disciples left and did not go with him anymore. The soldiers who guarded the tomb: they had seen the truth, but then they preferred to sell their secret and "we are safe: let's not put ourselves in the middle of this story, which is dangerous".

A moment of crisis is a moment of choice, it is a moment that puts us in front of the decisions that we have to make: we have all had and will have moments of crisis in our lives. Family crises, marriage crises, social crises, crisis in work, many crises . This pandemic is also a time of social crisis.

What Jesus is saying, "eat my flesh, drink my blood": Peter does not understand. But he trusts the Lord. Trust. And he makes this second confession: "But to whom shall we go, you have the words of eternal life".

This helps us all to live in times of crisis. In my land there is a saying that says: "When you ride a horse and you have to cross a river, please do not change horses in the middle of the river." In times of crisis, be very firm in your conviction of faith.

It is a time of fidelity, of fidelity to God, of fidelity to the things we have chosen before; also, it is the time of conversion because this fidelity will inspire in us some changes for the better, but not to distance ourselves from good.

Moments of peace and moments of crisis. We Christians must learn to manage both. Both. Some spiritual fathers say that the moment of crisis is like passing through fire to become strong. May the Lord send us the Holy Spirit to be able to resist temptations in times of crisis, to know how to be faithful to the first words, with the hope of living afterward in moments of peace. Let us think of our crises: family crises, neighbourhood crises, crises in work, social crises of the world, of the country ... so many crises, so many crises.

May the Lord allow us the strength – in times of crisis – not to sell our faith.

Pope Francis - Holy Mass Casa Santa Marta (Domus Sanctae Marthae)


Creation and Dignified Work not Slave Labour

God created. (Gen 1:27). A Creator. He created the world, created man, and gave man a mission: to manage, to work, to carry on creation. And the word "work" is the one that the Bible uses to describe this activity of God: "He completed the work he had been doing and rested on the seventh day from all the work he had done," (Gen 2:2), and he gave this activity to man: "You must do this, watch over this, that other, you must work with me to create this world – it is as if he said it – for it to continue." So much so that the work is only the continuation of God's work: human work is the vocation of man received from God at the end of the creation of the universe.

And work is what makes man like God, because with work man is creator, he is able to create, to create so many things, even to create a family to move forward. Man is a creator and creates with work. This is the vocation. And the Bible says that "God looked at everything he had made and found it very good." (Gen 1:31). That is, work has within itself a goodness and creates the harmony of things – beauty, goodness – and involves man in everything: in his thought, in his act, everything. Man is involved in working. It is man's first vocation: to work. And this gives dignity to man. The dignity that makes him like God. The dignity of work.

The dignity of work, which is so trampled on, unfortunately. In history we read the brutality that they did with slaves: they brought them from Africa to America – I think of that story that touches my land – and we say "how barbaric" ... But even today there are many slaves, so many men and women who are not free to work: they are forced to work, to survive, nothing more. They are slaves: forced labour . They are forced, unjust, unpaid and poorly paid jobs that lead man to live with trampled dignity. There are many, many in the world.

Today's slavery is our "in-dignity", because it takes away dignity from men and women, and all of us. "No, I work, I have my dignity": yes, but your brothers, don't. "Yes, Father, it is true, but this, as it is so far away, it is difficult for me to understand it. But here among us ...": also here, with us. Here, with us. Think of the workers, the day-to-day people, that work for a minimum wage and not eight, but twelve, fourteen hours a day: this happens today, here. All over the world, but also here. Think of the domestic worker who does not have a just wage, who has no social security care, who has no pension. It is here.

Every injustice that is done to a working person is to trample on human dignity, even on the dignity of the one who does the injustice: the level is lowered and we end up in that tension between a dictator and a slave. Instead, the vocation that God gives us is so beautiful: to create, to re-create, to work. But this can only be done when the conditions are just and the dignity of the person is respected.

Today we join many men and women, believers and non-believers, who commemorate Worker's Day, Labour Day, for those who fight for justice at work, for those – good entrepreneurs – who manage work with justice, even if they themselves lose.

This conscience of so many good employers, who take care of workers as if they were their children. Let us pray for them. And we ask St. Joseph - with this beautiful image with the tools of work in hand - to help us fight for the dignity of work, so that there is work for all and that it is dignified work. Not slave labour. May this be our prayer today.