MORNING CELEBRATION BROADCAST LIVE
FROM THE CHAPEL OF CASA SANTA MARTA
HOMILY OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS
"Stay in the Lord"
Wednesday, April 1, 2020
Today I would like us to pray for all those who work in the media, who work to communicate today, because people are not so isolated; for the education of children, for information, to help endure this closing time.
In these days, the Church makes us listen to John's eighth chapter: there is such a strong discussion between Jesus and the doctors of the Law. And above all, we try to show our identity: John tries to get closer to that struggle to clarify his identity, both of Jesus, as the identity that the doctors have. Jesus puts them on the corner by showing them their contradictions. And they, in the end, find no other way out than the insult: it is one of the saddest pages, it is a blasphemy. They insult the Madonna.
But speaking of identity, Jesus said to the Jews who had believed, advised them: "If you remain in my word, you really are my disciples" (Jn 8:31). Return that word so dear to the Lord that he will repeat it many times, and then in the dinner: stay. "Stay in me." Stay in the Lord. It does not say: "Study well, learn the arguments well": this takes it for granted. But it goes to the most important thing, the one that is most dangerous for life, if you don't do it: stay. "Stay in my word" (Jn 8:31). And those who remain in the word of Jesus have their own Christian identity. And which? "You are truly my disciples" (Jn 8:31). Christian identity is not a card that says "I am a Christian", an identity card: no. It is discipleship. You, if you stay in the Lord, in the Word of the Lord, in the life of the Lord, you will be a disciple. If you do not stay, you will be one who sympathizes with the doctrine, who follows Jesus as a man who does so much charity, is so good, who has the right values, but discipleship is precisely the true identity of the Christian.
And it will be discipleship that will give us freedom: the disciple is a free man because he remains in the Lord. And "stay in the Lord", what does it mean? Let yourself be guided by the Holy Spirit. The disciple lets himself be guided by the Spirit, for this reason the disciple is always a man of tradition and novelty, he is a free man. Free. Never subject to ideologies, to doctrines within Christian life, doctrines that can be discussed ... remains in the Lord, it is the Spirit that inspires. When we sing to the Spirit, we tell him that he is a guest of the soul, (Cf. Inno Veni, Sancte Spiritus), who lives in us. But this, only if we remain in the Lord.
I ask the Lord to make us know this wisdom to remain in Him and to let us know that familiarity with the Spirit: the Holy Spirit gives us freedom. And this is the anointing. Whoever remains in the Lord is a disciple, and the disciple is an anointed, anointed by the Spirit, who has received the anointing of the Spirit and carries it forward. This is the way that Jesus shows us for freedom and also for life. And discipleship is the anointing received by those who remain in the Lord.
May the Lord make us understand, this is not easy: because the doctors had not understood it, it is not understood only with the head; you understand with your head and heart, this wisdom of the anointing of the Holy Spirit that makes us disciples.
Prayer to make spiritual communion:
People who cannot communicate sacramentally now make spiritual communion.
At Your feet, O my Jesus, I bow down and offer You the repentance of my heart that abysses itself into its nothingness and Your holy presence. I adore you in the sacrament of your love, the Eucharist. I wish to receive you in the poor dwellings that my heart offers you. In anticipation of the happiness of sacramental communion, I want to possess you in spirit. Come to me, oh my Jesus, that I come to you. May Your love inflame my whole being for life and death. I believe in you, I hope in you, I love you.
FULL TEXT + Image Source: Vatican.va - Unofficial Translation