Pope Francis "Jesus prays for those who have been evil to Him, for his killers." Full Text + Video


St. Peter's Square
Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Catechesis - Easter: prayer to the Father in the trial

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

In these weeks we are reflecting on the prayer of the "Our Father". Now, on the eve of the Easter Triduum, let us dwell on some words with which Jesus, during the Passion, prayed to the Father.

The first invocation takes place after the Last Supper, when the Lord, "lift your eyes to heaven, said:" Father, the hour has come: glorify your Son - and then - glorify me before you with that glory which I had before you before the world was "" (Jn 17: 5.5). Jesus asks for glory, a request that seems paradoxical while the Passion is at the door. What glory is it? Glory in the Bible indicates the revealing of God, is the distinctive sign of his saving presence among men. Now, Jesus is the one who shows God's presence and salvation in a definitive way. And he does it in the Passover: raised up on the cross, he is glorified (see Jn 12: 23-33). There God finally reveals his glory: he takes away the last veil and astonishes us as never before. In fact we discover that the glory of God is all love: pure love, crazy and unthinkable, beyond all limits and measure.

Brothers and sisters, let us make Jesus' prayer our own: let us ask the Father to remove the veils from our eyes because in these days, looking at the Crucifix, we can accept that God is love. How many times do we imagine it a master and not a Father, how often we think of it as a severe judge rather than a merciful Savior! But God at Easter clears the distance, showing himself in the humility of a love that demands our love. We therefore give him glory when we live all that we do with love, when we do everything with the heart, as for Him (see Col 3:17). True glory is the glory of love, because it is the only one that gives life to the world. Of course, this glory is the opposite of worldly glory, which comes when one is admired, praised, acclaimed: when I am in the center of attention. The glory of God, on the other hand, is paradoxical: no applause, no audience. At the center there is not the ego, but the other: at Easter we see in fact that the Father glorifies the Son while the Son glorifies the Father. No one glorifies himself. We can ask ourselves today: "What is the glory I live for? My or God's? Do I just want to receive from others or even give to others? "
After the Last Supper, Jesus enters the garden of Gethsemane; here too he prays to the Father. While the disciples are unable to stay awake and Judas is arriving with the soldiers, Jesus begins to feel "fear and anguish". Experience all the anguish for what awaits him: betrayal, contempt, suffering, failure. He is "sad" and there, in the abyss, in that desolation, he addresses to the Father the most tender and sweet word: "Abba", that is, father (see Mk 14: 33-36). In the test Jesus teaches us to embrace the Father, because in prayer to Him there is the strength to go on in pain. In fatigue, prayer is relief, trust, comfort. In the abandonment of all, in the interior desolation Jesus is not alone, he is with the Father. Instead, in our Gethsemane we often choose to remain alone rather than say "Father" and entrust ourselves to Him, like Jesus, to entrust ourselves to his will, which is our true good. But when we are closed in on ourselves in the test, we dig a tunnel inside, a painful introverted path that has a single direction: more and more deeply in ourselves. The biggest problem is not pain, but how it is dealt with. Solitude offers no way out; prayer is yes, because it is relationship, it is trust. Jesus entrusts everything and entrusts himself to the Father, bringing him what he feels, leaning on him in the struggle. When we enter our Gethsemane - each of us has our own Gethsemane or has had them or will have them - we remember this: when we enter, when we enter our Gethsemane, let us remember to pray like this: "Father".
Finally, Jesus addresses a third prayer for us to the Father: "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do" (Lk 23:34). Jesus prays for those who have been evil to Him, for his killers. The Gospel specifies that this prayer occurs at the moment of crucifixion. It was probably the moment of the sharpest pain when the nails were driven into Jesus' wrists and feet. Here, at the summit of pain, love reaches its climax: forgiveness comes, that is, the gift to the nth power, which breaks the circle of evil. Dear brothers and sisters, praying in these days the "Our Father", we can ask for one of these graces: to live our days for the glory of God, that is to live with love; to know how to entrust ourselves to the Father in trials and to say "dad" to the Father and to find forgiveness and the courage to forgive in the encounter with the Father. Both things go together. The Father forgives us, but gives us the courage to forgive.
Greetings in Various Languages:
Je suis heureux de saluer les pèlerins venus de France et d’autres pays francophones, en particulier les pèlerins de Carcassonne, Tournon et Rennes. En ces jours saints, que le Seigneur nous apprenne à vivre chaque jour pour sa gloire, autrement dit avec amour, à nous confier à lui dans les épreuves, à recevoir son pardon et le courage de pardonner.
Colgo questa occasione per esprimere alla comunità diocesana di Parigi, a tutti i parigini e all’intero popolo francese il mio grande affetto e la mia vicinanza dopo l’incendio nella Cattedrale di Notre-Dame. Cari fratelli e sorelle, sono rimasto addolorato e mi sento tanto vicino a tutti voi. A quanti si sono prodigati, anche rischiando di persona, per salvare la Basilica va la gratitudine di tutta la Chiesa. La Vergine Maria li benedica e sostenga il lavoro di ricostruzione: possa essere un’opera corale, a lode e gloria di Dio. Dio vi benedica!
I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, especially those from the Netherlands, Australia, the Philippines, Canada and the United States of America. My particular greeting goes to the delegation from the NATO Defense College. May this Holy Week lead us to celebrate the resurrection of the Lord Jesus with hearts purified and renewed by the grace of the Holy Spirit. God bless you all!
Herzlich grüße ich alle Pilger deutscher Sprache. Ich wünsche euch eine gnadenreiche Feier der heiligen drei Tage vom Leiden, Sterben und der Auferstehung des Herrn. Verbinden wir uns innerlich und im Gebet mit ihm auf seinem Weg der vertrauensvollen Hingabe an den Vater. Gesegnete Feiertage!
Saludo cordialmente a los peregrinos de lengua española venidos de España y de Latinoamérica. Pidamos al Señor que la celebración de la Pascua no sea sólo un momento más en nuestra vida, sino que nos impulse a vivir cada día para la gloria de Dios, confiando al Padre las pruebas que nos afligen y encontrando en Él el abrazo misericordioso que nos anima a perdonar a los demás. Que el Señor los bendiga.
Uma saudação aos peregrinos de língua portuguesa, particularmente os fiéis da paróquia Cristo Rei no Porto e os diversos grupos de brasileiros: Deixai-vos iluminar e transformar pela força da Ressurreição de Cristo, para que as vossas existências tornem um testemunho da vida que é mais forte do que o pecado e a morte. Um Santo Tríduo Pascal para todos!
أرحب بالحاضرين الناطقين باللغة العربية، وخاصة بالقادمين من سوريا، ومن لبنان، ومن الشرق الأوسط. يعلمنا يسوع، في درب صليبه، أن الطريقة الوحيدة للتغلب على التجارب هي الثقة الكاملة في الله، وفي محبته الخلاصية، وفي إرادته المقدسة. ليبارككم الرب جميعا ويحرسكم دائما من الشرير!
[I warmly welcome the Arabic-speaking pilgrims, in particular those from Syria, Lebanon and the Middle East. Jesus teaches us, in His Way of the Cross, that the only way to overcome trials is to entrust oneself completely to God, to His saving love and to His holy will. May the Lord bless you and always protect you from the evil one!]
Serdecznie pozdrawiam polskich pielgrzymów. Drodzy bracia i siostry, przeżywajmy te dni Triduum Męki Pańskiej na chwałę Boga, to znaczy z miłością, powierzając się Ojcu w próbach i szukając w spotkaniu z Ojcem przebaczenia i odwagi przebaczenia. Zjednoczenie z cierpiącym Chrystusem, który tak nas umiłował, że życie za nas dał, niech nas prowadzi do chwały Jego zmartwychwstania. Niech Bóg wam błogosławi!
I warmly welcome the Italian-speaking faithful.

I am pleased to welcome the Participants to the UNIV 2019 Meeting. Dear young people who live these days of formation, following the example of St. Josemaria, increasingly base your life on the values ​​of faith, so that, changing yourself on the model of Christ, you can transform the world around you.

I greet the Parishes; educational institutions, in particular those of Aversa and Teramo; the group of the Carabinieri Legion Piedmont and Valle d'Aosta and the Christian Family Association.

I am particularly interested in young people, the elderly, the sick and newlyweds.

Tomorrow the Easter Triduum begins, the fulcrum of the entire liturgical year. The Easter of Christ Jesus makes you reflect on the love that God has shown to have for all of you. May the Lord grant you to participate fully in the mystery of his death and resurrection, and help you to make his feelings yours and to share them with your neighbor.
FULL TEXT and Image Source Share from Vatican.va - Unofficial Translation