MORNING CELEBRATION BROADCASTED LIVE
FROM THE CHAPEL OF CASA SANTA MARTA
HOMILY OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS
"His consolation is near, truthful and opens the doors of hope"Friday, May 8, 2020
IntroductionToday is celebrated the World Day of the Red Cross and Red Crescent. We pray for the people who work in these worthy institutions: that the Lord bless their work that is doing so much good.
This conversation of Jesus with the disciples is at the table, again, at the Supper (cf. Jn 14 : 1-6). Jesus is sad and everyone is sad: Jesus said that he would be betrayed by one of them (cf. Jn 13:21) and everyone perceives that something bad would have happened. Jesus begins to console his own, because one of the tasks, of the "works" of the Lord is to console. The Lord consoles his disciples and here we see what Jesus' way of consoling is. We have many ways of consoling, from the most authentic, from the closest to the most formal, like those telegrams of condolences: "Deeply grieved for ...". It does not console anyone, it is a fake, it is the consolation of formalities. But how does the Lord console himself? This is important to know, because we too, when in our life we must pass moments of sadness, we learn to perceive what the true consolation of the Lord is.
And in this passage of the Gospel we see that the Lord always consoles in closeness , with truth and hope . These are the three traces of the consolation of the Lord.
In the vicinity , never distant: "there are". That beautiful word: "there are". "I am here with you." And many times in silence. But we know that He is there. He is always there. That closeness which is the style of God, even in the Incarnation, to draw near to us. The Lord consoles in closeness. And he doesn't use empty words, on the contrary, he prefers silence. The strength of closeness, of presence. Speak little, but it's close.
A second trace of Jesus 'closeness, of Jesus' way of consoling, is the truth : Jesus is truthful. He doesn't say formal things that are lies: "No, don't worry, everything will pass, nothing will happen, it will pass, things will pass ...". No. It tells the truth. It does not hide the truth. Because in this passage he himself says: "I am the truth" (cf. Jn 14 : 6). And the truth is: "I am leaving", that is: "I will die" (cf. vv. 2-3). We are facing death. It is the truth. And he says it simply and mildly, without hurting. But we are facing death. It does not hide the truth.
And this is the third trace: Jesus consoles in hope. Yes, it's a bad time, but "don't let your heart be troubled. [...] Have faith in me too "(v. 1). "I tell you one thing" - thus says Jesus - "in my Father's house there are many dwellings. […] I am going to prepare a place for you ”(v. 2). He first goes to open the doors, the doors of that place, through which we will all pass, so I hope. "I will come again and take you with me, so that where I am you may also be" (v. 3). The Lord comes back every time someone of us is on the way to leave this world. "I will come and take you": hope. He will come and take us by the hand and bring us. It does not say: "No, you will not suffer, it is nothing ...". No. He says the truth: “I am close to you. This is the truth: it is an ugly moment, of danger, of death. But don't let your heart be troubled, stay in that peace,
It is not easy to be consoled by the Lord. Many times, in bad times, we get angry with the Lord and do not let him come and speak to us like this, with this sweetness, with this closeness, with this meekness, with this truth and with this hope.
We ask for the grace to learn to let ourselves be consoled by the Lord. The consolation of the Lord is truthful, it does not deceive. It's not anesthesia, no. But it is close, it is truthful and it opens the doors of hope to us.
Prayer to make spiritual communion
People who cannot communicate 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 came, I embrace you and I join you all. Don't let me ever separate you from you.
FULL TEXT + Image Source: Vatican.va - a Translation from the Italian