Thursday, April 30, 2020

At Mass Pope Francis Prays for those who have Died from the Coronavirus

"Without witness and prayer, apostolic preaching cannot be done"
Thursday, April 30, 2020

Let us pray today for the deceased, those who died from the pandemic; and also especially for the deceased - let's say - anonymous: we have seen the photos of the mass graves. Many…
"No one can come to me unless the Father draws him" ( Jn 6:44). Jesus recalls that even the prophets had foretold this: "And all will be instructed by God" ( Jn 6:45). It is God who attracts knowledge of the Son. Without this, one cannot know Jesus. Yes, one can study, even study the Bible, even know how he was born, what he did, this yes. But knowing it from within, knowing the mystery of Christ is only for those who are attracted by the Father to this.
This is what happened to this economy minister of the queen of Ethiopia. You can see that he was a pious man and that he took the time, in the midst of so many of his affairs, to go to worship God. A believer. And he returned home by reading the prophet Isaiah (cf Acts 8,27-28). The Lord takes Philip, sends him to that place and then says to him: "Go ahead and come to that cart" (v. 8,29). And he hears the minister reading Isaiah. He approaches and asks him a question: "Do you understand?" - "And how could I understand, if nobody guides me?" (v. 31), and asks the question: "Whose prophet does this say? ... Please, get in the carriage". And during the journey - I don't know how long, I think at least a couple of hours - Philip explained, explained Jesus (cf. vv. 26-35).
That restlessness that this gentleman had in reading the prophet Isaiah belonged to the Father, who attracted him to Jesus (cf. Jn 6:44): he had prepared him, brought him from Ethiopia to Jerusalem to worship God and then, with this reading, he had prepared his heart to reveal Jesus. To the point that as soon as he saw the water he said, "Can I be baptized?" (see v. 36). And he believed.
And this - that no one can know Jesus without the Father attracting him (cf. v. 44) - this is valid for our apostolate, for our apostolic mission as Christians. I also think of missions. "What are you going to do in the missions?" - "I, to convert people" - "But stop, you will not convert anyone! The Father will attract those hearts to recognize Jesus ”. Going on a mission is giving testimonyof one's faith; without testimony you will do nothing. Go on a mission - and missionaries are good! - does not mean building large structures, things…, and stopping like this. No, structures must be testimonials. You can make a hospital, educational structure of great perfection, of great development, but if a structure is without Christian testimony, your work there will not be a witness work, a work of true preaching of Jesus: it will be a charity society, very good - very good! - but nothing more.
If I want to go on a mission ..., if I want to go to the apostolate, I have to go with the willingness that the Father draws people to Jesus, and this testifies to it. Jesus himself says this to Peter, when he confesses that He is the Messiah: "You are blessed, Simon Peter, because this has been revealed to you by the Father" (cf. Mt 16:17). It is the Father who attracts, and also attracts with our testimony. "I will do many works, here, here, there, of education, of this, of the other ...", but without testimony they are good things, but they are not the announcement of the Gospel, they are not places that give the possibility that may the Father draw knowledge of Jesus (cf. Jn 6:44). Work and testimony.
"But how can I do so that the Father worries about attracting those people?". Prayer . This is the prayer for the missions: pray for the Father to attract people to Jesus. Testimony and prayer go together. Without witness and prayer apostolic preaching cannot be made, announcement cannot be made. You will make a beautiful moral sermon, you will do many good things, all good. But the Father will not have the possibility of attracting people to Jesus. And this is the center: this is the center of our apostolate, that the Father may attract people to Jesus (cf. Jn6.44). Our testimony opens the doors to people and our prayer opens the doors to the heart of the Father to attract people. Testimony and prayer. And this is not only for the missions, it is also for our work as Christians. Do I really testify to Christian life with my lifestyle? I pray that the Father will attract people to Jesus?
This is the great rule for our apostolate, everywhere, and especially for missions. Going on a mission is not proselytizing. Once, a lady - good, you could see she was of good will - came up with two boys, a boy and a girl, and said to me: "This boy, Father, was a Protestant and converted: I was I convinced. And this girl was ... "- I don't know, animist, I don't know what she said to me -" and I converted her ". And the lady was good: good. But she was wrong. I lost my patience a little and said: “Listen, you haven't converted anyone: it was God who touched people's hearts. And don't forget: testimony, yes; proselytism, no. "
We ask the Lord for the grace to live our work with testimony and prayer, so that he, the Father, can attract people to Jesus.
Prayer to make spiritual communion
People who cannot make communion make spiritual communion:
My Jesus, I believe that you are truly present in the Blessed Sacrament of others. I love you above all things and I desire you in my soul. Since I cannot receive you sacramentally now, at least spiritually come into my body. As already came, I embrace you and I join you all. Don't let me ever separate you from you.
FULL TEXT + Image Source: - Translation from Italian

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