Pope Francis at Mass at Dedication of St. John Lateran says "God is the secret of this new life force!" Full Text Homily + Video



Basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano
Saturday, November 9, 2019

Prayer of the Faithful recited by the Holy Father:

Text of the Prayer of the Faithful recited by the Holy Father in front of the tombstone dedicated to the poor outside the Basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano

For the millions of children bent by hunger pangs who have lost their smiles but still want to love.

For the millions of young people who, without a reason to believe or exist, search in vain for a future in this senseless world.

We pray to you, Father, send workers for your harvest.

For the millions of men, women and children, with hearts that are still strong strong to fight, whose spirit turns against the unjust fate imposed on them, whose courage demands the right to inestimable dignity.

We pray to you, Father, send workers for your harvest.

For the millions of children, women, men who do not want to curse, but love and pray, work and unite, so that a land of solidarity may be born. A land, our land, where every man gives the best of himself before he dies.

We pray to you, Father, send workers for your harvest.

Because all those who pray hear from God and receive from Him the strength to eliminate misery from a humanity made in His image.

We pray to you, Father, send workers for your harvest.


Tonight, in this celebration of the Dedication, I would like to take from the Word of God three verses to give you, so that you can make them the object of meditation and prayer.

I feel the first addressed to everyone, to the whole diocesan community of Rome. It is the verse of the responsorial psalm: "A river and its canals cheer the city of God" (46,5). The Christians who live in this city are like the river that flows from the temple: they carry a Word of life and of hope capable of making the deserts of hearts fruitful, like the torrent described in Ezekiel's vision (see chapter 47) fecundates the desert of 'Arab and heals the salty and lifeless waters of the Dead Sea. The important thing is that the stream flows out of the temple and heads towards lands of hostile appearance. The city cannot but rejoice when it sees Christians becoming joyful announcers, determined to share with others the treasures of the Word of God and to work for the common good. The land that seemed destined forever to aridity reveals an extraordinary potential: it becomes a garden with evergreen trees and leaves and fruits with medicinal power. Ezekiel explains the reason for so much fruitfulness: "Their waters flow from the sanctuary" (47,12). God is the secret of this new life force!

May the Lord rejoice in seeing us on the move, ready to listen with his heart to his poor who cry to Him. May the Mother Church of Rome experience the consolation of seeing once again the obedience and courage of her children, full of enthusiasm for this new season of evangelization. Meet others, enter into dialogue with them, listen to them with humility, gratuitousness and poverty of heart ... I invite you to experience all this not as a heavy effort, but with a spiritual lightness: instead of getting caught up in anxieties of performance, it is more important broaden the perception to grasp the presence and action of God in the city. It is a contemplation that comes from love.

To you presbyters I want to dedicate a verse from the second reading, from the First Letter to the Corinthians: "No one can lay a foundation other than that which is already there, which is Jesus Christ" (3.11). This is your task, the heart of your ministry: helping the community to always be at the feet of the Lord to listen to the Word; keep her away from all worldliness, from bad compromises; to guard the foundation and the holy root of the spiritual building; defend it from rapacious wolves, from those who would like to make it deviate from the way of the Gospel. Like Paul, you too are "wise architects" (see 3: 10), wise because you are well aware that any other idea or reality we wanted to put at the foundation of the Church in place of the Gospel, could perhaps guarantee us more success, perhaps immediate gratifications, but would involve inevitably the collapse, the collapse of the whole spiritual building!

Since I was Bishop of Rome I have known more closely many of you, dear presbyters: I have admired faith and love for the Lord, closeness to people and generosity in caring for the poor. Get to know the districts of the city like no other and cherish the faces, smiles and tears of so many people in your heart. You have set aside ideological oppositions and personal protagonists to make room for what God asks of you. The realism of those who have their feet on the ground and know "how the things of this world go" did not prevent you from flying high with the Lord and dreaming big. God bless you.
Full Text Source: Vatican.va - Image source: Vatican.va