MORNING CELEBRATION BROADCAST LIVE
FROM THE CHAPEL OF CASA SANTA MARTA
HOMILY OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS
"Familiarity with the Lord"
Friday, April 17, 2020
I wish that today we prayed for the women who are waiting, pregnant women who will become mothers and are restless, they worry. One question: "In what world will my son live?" Let us pray for them, so that the Lord will give them the courage to carry on these children with the confidence that it will certainly be a different world, but it will always be a world that the Lord will love so much.
The disciples were fishermen: Jesus had called them precisely in the work. Andrew and Peter were working with the networks. They left the nets and followed Jesus (cf Mt 4, 18-20). John and James, the same: they left the father and the boys who worked with them and followed Jesus (cf. Mt 4: 21-22). The call was in their fishing profession. And this passage of today's Gospel, this miracle, of miraculous fishing makes us think of another miraculous fishing, the one that Luke tells (cf. Lk 5: 1-11): the same happened there too. They had a peach when they thought they didn't. After the sermon, Jesus said: "Take off" - "But we worked all night and we didn't take anything!" - "Go." "Trusting your word - said Peter - I will throw the nets." There was so much quantity - says the Gospel - that "they were taken by surprise" (cf. Lk 5,9), by that miracle. Today, in this other fishing there is no talk of amazement. You can see a certain naturalness, you see that there has been progress, a journey that has gone into the knowledge of the Lord, in intimacy with the Lord; I will say the right word: in familiarity with the Lord. When John saw this, he said to Peter: "But it is the Lord!", And Peter tightened his clothes, threw himself into the water to go to the Lord (cf. Jn 21: 7). The first time, he knelt before him: "Get away from me, Lord, who am a sinner" (cf. Lk 5,8). This time it says nothing, it is more natural. Nobody asked: "Who are you?". They knew it was the Lord, it was natural, the encounter with the Lord. The apostles' familiarity with the Lord had grown.
We Christians too, in our journey of life, are in this state of walking, of progressing in familiarity with the Lord. The Lord, I might say, is a little "in hand", but "in hand" because he walks with us, we know it is He. Nobody asked him here, "who are you?": They knew it was the Lord. A daily familiarity with the Lord is that of the Christian. And surely, they had breakfast together, with fish and bread, they certainly talked about many things naturally.
This familiarity with the Lord, of Christians, is always community. Yes, it is intimate, it is personal but in community. A familiarity without community, a familiarity without the Bread, a familiarity without the Church, without the people, without the sacraments is dangerous. It can become a familiar - let's say - familiarity, a familiarity for me only, detached from the people of God. The familiarity of the apostles with the Lord was always communal, always was at the table, a sign of community. It was always with the Sacrament, with the Bread.
I say this because someone made me reflect on the danger that this moment we are living, this pandemic that made everyone communicate to each other also religiously through the media, through the media, even this Mass, we are all communicating, but not together, spiritually together. The people are small. There is a great people: we are together, but not together. Even the Sacrament: today you have it, the Eucharist, but the people who are connected with us, only spiritual communion. And this is not the Church: this is the Church of a difficult situation, which the Lord allows, but the ideal of the Church is always with the people and the sacraments. Always.
Before Easter, when the news came out that I would celebrate Easter in empty Saint Peter's, a bishop wrote me - a good bishop: good - and he scolded me. “But how come Saint Peter's is so big, why don't you put at least 30 people, why see people? There will be no danger ... ". I thought, "But what's this in your head to tell me this?" I didn't understand at the moment. But since he is a good bishop, very close to the people, something will want to tell me. When I find him, I will ask him. Then I got it. He said to me: “Be careful not to viralize the Church, not to viralize the sacraments, not to viralize the people of God. The Church, the sacraments, the people of God are concrete. It is true that at this moment we must make this familiarity with the Lord in this way, but to get out of the tunnel, not to stay there. And this is the familiarity of the apostles: not Gnostic, not viralized, not selfish for each of them, but a concrete familiarity in the people.
Familiarity with the Lord in daily life, familiarity with the Lord in the sacraments, in the midst of the people of God. They have made a journey of maturity in familiarity with the Lord: we learn to do it as well. From the first moment, they understood that that familiarity was different from what they imagined, and they came to this. They knew it was the Lord, they shared everything: the community, the sacraments, the Lord, peace, the feast.
May the Lord teach us this intimacy with him, this familiarity with him but in the Church, with the sacraments, with the holy faithful people of God.
Prayer to make spiritual communion
People who cannot communicate now make spiritual communion:
At Your feet, O my Jesus, I bow down and offer You the repentance of my contrite heart, which abysses itself into its nothingness and Your holy presence. I adore you in the Sacrament of Your love, the ineffable Eucharist. I wish to receive You in the poor abode that my heart offers You and in anticipation of the happiness of sacramental communion I want to possess You in spirit. Come to me, O 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 Source: Vatican.va Unofficial Translation -