MORNING CELEBRATION BROADCAST LIVE
FROM THE CHAPEL OF CASA SANTA MARTA
HOMILY OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS
"Our faithfulness is an answer to God's faithfulness"
Wednesday, April 15, 2020
We pray today for the elderly, especially for those who are isolated or in nursing homes. They are afraid, afraid of dying alone. They feel this pandemic as an aggressive thing for them. They are our roots, our history. They gave us faith, tradition, a sense of belonging to a homeland. We pray for them that the Lord will be close to them right now.
Yesterday we reflected on Mary of Magdala as an icon of fidelity: fidelity to God. But how is this fidelity to God? To which God? Just to the faithful God.
Our faithfulness is nothing but a response to God's faithfulness. God who is faithful to his word, who is faithful to his promise, who walks with his people carrying out the promise close to his people. Faithful to the promise: God who continually makes himself felt as the Savior of the people because he is faithful to the promise. God, who is capable of re-doing things, of re-creating, as he did with this cripple from birth to whom he re-created the feet, made him heal (cf. Acts 3: 6-8), the God who heals, the God who always brings consolation to his people. The God who re-creates. A new re-creation: this is your loyalty to us. A re-creation that is more wonderful than creation.
A God who goes on and who never tires of working - let's say "work", "ad instar laborantis" (cf. St. Ignatius of L., Spiritual Exercises, 236), as theologians say - to carry on the people, and he is not afraid of "getting tired", let's say so ... Like that shepherd who, when he returns home, realizes that he is missing a sheep and goes back to look for the sheep that has been lost there (cf. Mt 18: 12-14) . The shepherd who works overtime, but out of love, out of fidelity ... And our God is a God who works overtime, but not for a fee: for free. It is the loyalty of gratuity, of abundance. And fidelity is that father who is able to go up to the terrace many times to see if his son returns and does not tire of going up: he is waiting for him to celebrate (cf. Lk 15, 21-24). God's faithfulness is celebration, it is joy, it is such a joy that makes us do as this cripple did: he entered the temple walking, jumping, praising God (cf. Acts 3: 8-9). God's faithfulness is a party, it is a free party. It is a celebration for all of us.
God's faithfulness is a patient faithfulness: he has patience with his people, listens to them, guides them, explains them slowly and warms their hearts, as he did with these two disciples who went far from Jerusalem: warms their hearts for them to return at home (cf. Lk 24: 32-33). God's faithfulness is what we don't know: what happened in that dialogue, but it is the generous God who sought out Peter who had denied him, who had denied him. We only know that the Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon: what happened in that dialogue we do not know (cf. Lk 24,34). But yes, we know it was God's faithfulness that sought Peter. God's faithfulness always precedes us and our faithfulness is always the answer to that fidelity that precedes us. It is the God who always precedes us. And the flower of the almond tree, in spring: it blooms first.
To be faithful is to praise this faithfulness, to be faithful to this faithfulness. It is an answer to this loyalty.
Prayer for spiritual communion
People who cannot make communion will now make spiritual communion:
My Jesus, I believe that you are truly present in the Blessed Sacrament of the altar. I love you above all things and I desire you in my soul. Since I cannot receive you sacramentally now, at least spiritually come to my heart. As already come, I embrace you and I join everything with you. Don't let it ever separate me from you.
Full Text + Image Source: Vatican.va Unofficial Translation -