Monday, June 1, 2020

Holy Mass Online - Readings and Video : Tuesday, June 2, 2020 - #Eucharist - Your Virtual Church


Tuesday of the Ninth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 354
Reading 12 PT 3:12-15A, 17-18
Beloved:
Wait for and hasten the coming of the day of God,
because of which the heavens will be dissolved in flames
and the elements melted by fire.
But according to his promise
we await new heavens and a new earth
in which righteousness dwells.

Therefore, beloved, since you await these things,
be eager to be found without spot or blemish before him, at peace.
And consider the patience of our Lord as salvation.

Therefore, beloved, since you are forewarned,
be on your guard not to be led into the error of the unprincipled
and to fall from your own stability.
But grow in grace
and in the knowledge of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ.
To him be glory now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

Responsorial90:2, 3-4, 10, 14 AND 16
R.    (1)  In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.
Before the mountains were begotten
and the earth and the world were brought forth,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
R.    In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.
You turn man back to dust,
saying, “Return, O children of men.”
For a thousand years in your sight
are as yesterday, now that it is past,
or as a watch of the night.
R.    In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.
Seventy is the sum of our years,
or eighty, if we are strong,
And most of them are fruitless toil,
for they pass quickly and we drift away.
R.    In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.
Fill us at daybreak with your kindness,
that we may shout for joy and gladness all our days.
Let your work be seen by your servants
and your glory by their children.
R.    In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.

AlleluiaEPHESIANS 1:17-18
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
May the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ
enlighten the eyes of our hearts,
that we may know what is the hope
that belongs to his call.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMK 12:13-17
Some Pharisees and Herodians were sent
to Jesus to ensnare him in his speech.
They came and said to him,
“Teacher, we know that you are a truthful man
and that you are not concerned with anyone’s opinion.
You do not regard a person’s status
but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth.
Is it lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar or not?
Should we pay or should we not pay?”
Knowing their hypocrisy he said to them,
“Why are you testing me?
Bring me a denarius to look at.”
They brought one to him and he said to them,
“Whose image and inscription is this?”
They replied to him, “Caesar’s.”
So Jesus said to them,
“Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar
and to God what belongs to God.”
They were utterly amazed at him.

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 home 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 may 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. So be it. Amen
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Saint June 2 : Sts. Marcellinus & Peter : Martyrs who Died in 304



Feast Day:
June 2
Died:
304 AD, Rome
Marcellinus was a priest, and Peter an exorcist, both of the clergy of Rome, and eminent for their zeal and piety. In the persecution of Dioclesian, about  the year 304, they were condemned to die for their faith: and by a secret order of the judge, the executioner led them into a forest, that the holy men being executed privately, no Christians might be acquainted with the place of their sepulchre. When he had brought them into a thicket overgrown with thorns and briers, three; miles from Rome, he declared to them his sanguinary commission. The saints cheerfully fell to work themselves, grubbed up the brambles, and cleared a spot fit for their sepulchre. After they were beheaded, their bodies were buried in the same place. Some time after, Lucilla, a pious lady, being informed by revelation, and assisted by another devout lady named Firmina, took up their bodies and honorably interred them near that of St. Tiburtius on the Lavican road in the Catacombs. Pope Damasus assures us, that, when a child, he learned all these particulars from the mouth of the executioner himself, and he has inserted them in a Latin epitaph with which he adorned their tomb. Anastasius the librarian testifies from ancient registers, that Constantine the Great built here a church in honor of these martyrs, in which he caused his mother St. Helena to be buried under a porphyry tomb, on the Lavican road, three miles from Rome, and that he gave to this church a paten, weighing thirty-five pounds, of pure gold, with many other rich presents; which is also mentioned by Bede, Ado, and Sigebert. The porphyry mausoleum of St. Helena is still shown among other antiquities near the Lateran basilica. Honorius I. and Adrian I. repaired this church and cemetery of St. Tiburtius, and SS. Marcellinus and Peter, as Anastasius mentions. Not long after, the bodies of SS. Marcellinus and Peter were translated into Germany on the following occasion. Eginhard, a German, the favorite secretary of Charlemagne, and his wife Emma, by mutual consent, made a vow of perpetual continency; and becoming a monk, was chosen abbot of Fontenelle, and, in 819, abbot of Ghent. Emma died in 836, to his great affliction, as appears from the letters of Lupus, abbot of Ferrieres, to him. This great man, in 827, sent his secretary to Rome, to procure from pope Gregory IV. some relies of martyrs to enrich the monasteries which he had founded or repaired. The pope sent him the bodies of SS. Marcellinus and Peter, which Eginhard translated to Strasburg. But soon after he deposited them first at Michlenstad; and afterwards at Malinheim, since called Selgenstad, three leagues from Frankfort, and two from Achaffenburg; where, in 829, he built to their honor a church and monastery, of which he died the first abbot. Besides the life of Charlemagne, and the annals of France, during the reigns of Pepin, Charlemagne, and Louis Debonnaire, he wrote four books in prose, and one in verse, on the translation of SS. Marcellinus and Peter. This translation is also mentioned by Sigebert, Aymoinus, Rabanus Maurus, &c. Pope Gregory the Great preached his twenty homilies on the gospels in the church of SS. Marcellinus and Peter at Rome; as appears from some of them, and from the testimony of John the Deacon.4 See their acts and the history of their translation in Papebroke, t. 1, Junij, p. 170, and Laderchius, Diss. de Basilicis, SS. Marcellini and Petri; Romae, 1705

SOURCE: Lives of the Saints - Butler

Message on 50th Anniversary of Rite of Consecrated Virgins Espoused to Christ "..may you always be women of joy, following the example of Mary..." Full Text by Pope Franics


MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS
ON THE FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY OF THE PROMULGATION
OF THE REVISED RITE OF CONSECRATION OF VIRGINS

Dear Sisters!
1. Fifty years ago, the Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship, by mandate of Saint Paul VI, promulgated the new Rite of Consecration of Virgins. The current pandemic made it necessary to postpone the international meeting organized by the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life to mark this important anniversary. Nevertheless, I wish to join you in giving thanks for what Saint John Paul II, addressing you on the twenty-fifth anniversary, referred to as a “twofold gift of the Lord to his Church”: the renewed Rite and an Ordo fidelium “restored to the ecclesial community” (Address to Participants in the International Conference on the Ordo Virginum, 2 June 1995).
Your form of life has its primary source in the Rite and its juridical configuration in Canon 604 of the Code of Canon Law, and, since 2018, in the Instruction Ecclesiae Sponsae Imago. Your vocation is a sign of the inexhaustible and manifold richness of the gifts of the Spirit of the Risen Lord, who makes all things new (cf. Rev 21:5). It is likewise a sign of hope, pointing to the fidelity of the Father, who even today awakens in the hearts of some women the desire to be consecrated to the Lord in virginity, lived out in a concrete social and cultural setting, rooted in a particular Church, and expressed in a way of life that is ancient, yet modern and ever new.
Accompanied by your Bishops, you have become increasingly conscious of the distinctive nature of your form of consecrated life and have come to realize that your consecration makes you a particular Ordo fidelium in the Church. Continue along this path of cooperation with the Bishops in the development of sound programmes of vocational discernment and of initial and ongoing formation. The gift of your vocation finds expression within the symphonic unity of the Church, which is built up when she can see in you women capable of living the gift of sisterhood.
2. Fifty years after the renewal of the Rite, I would say this to you: do not extinguish the prophetic nature of your vocation! You have been called, not because of your own merits, but by God’s mercy, to make your lives a reflection of the face of the Church, the Bride of Christ. The Church is a virgin because, albeit composed of sinners, she continues to preserve the faith intact, to bring forth new life and to foster the growth of a new humanity.
In union with the Spirit and together with the entire Church and all those who hear the word of God, you are called to surrender yourselves to Christ and to say to him: “Come!” (Rev 22:17). In this way, you will experience the strength born of hearing his response: “Surely, I am coming soon!” (Rev 22:20). The coming of the Bridegroom is the horizon and goal of your ecclesial journey, a promise to be welcomed each day anew. By living in this way, “you will be stars to guide the world on its journey” (BENEDICT XVI, Address to Participants in the Ordo Virginum Congress, 15 May 2008).
I encourage you to reread and meditate on those texts of the Rite that speak of the meaning of your vocation. You are called to experience yourselves, and then to testify to others, that God, in his Son, loved us first, that his love is for all, and that it has the power to change sinners into saints. For “Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word” (Eph 5:25-26). Your lives will reveal the eschatological tension that enlivens the whole of creation, drives the whole of history, and is born of the Risen Lord’s invitation: “Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away” (Song 2:10; cf. ORIGEN, Homilies on the Song of Songs II:12).
3. The Homily proposed for the Rite of Consecration exhorts you to “Love everyone, especially those in need” (no. 16). Your consecration dedicates you to God without separating you from the setting in which you live and in which you are called to bear personal witness by a lifestyle of evangelical closeness (cf. Ecclesiae Sponsae Imago, 37-38). By such closeness to the men and women of our times, your virginal consecration helps the Church to love the poor, to discern forms of material and spiritual poverty, to help those who are weak and vulnerable, those suffering from physical and mental illness, the young and the elderly, and all those in danger of being marginalized or discarded.
Be women of mercy, experts in humanity. Women who believe in the “revolutionary nature of love and tenderness” (Evangelii Gaudium, 288). The pandemic is teaching us that “the time has come to eliminate inequalities, to heal the injustice that is undermining the health of the entire human family!” (Homily at Mass for Divine Mercy Sunday, 19 April 2020). Let everything that is happening all around us disturb you: do not close your eyes to it and do not flee from it. Be present and sensitive to pain and suffering. Persevere in proclaiming the Gospel, which promises fullness of life for all.
The Prayer of Consecration, in invoking upon you the manifold gifts of the Spirit, asks that you be enabled to live in casta libertas (Rite of Consecration of Virgins, 24). Let this “chaste freedom” be your way of relating to others, so that you can be a sign of the spousal love uniting Christ to the Church, virgin and mother, sister and friend of all. By your gentleness (cf. Phil 4:5), weave a web of authentic relationships that can help to make the neighbourhoods of our cities less lonely and anonymous. Be forthright, capable of parrhesia, but avoid the temptation to chatter and gossip. Have the wisdom, the resourcefulness, and the authority of charity, in order to stand up to arrogance and to prevent abuses of power.
4. On this Solemnity of Pentecost, I bless each of you, all those women preparing to receive this consecration, and all those who will receive it in the future. “The Holy Spirit is given to the Church as the inexhaustible principle of her joy as the Bride of the glorified Christ” (SAINT PAUL VI, Gaudete in Domino). As signs of the Church as Bride, may you always be women of joy, following the example of Mary of Nazareth, woman of the Magnificat, Mother of the living Gospel.
Rome, Saint John Lateran, 31 May 2020
Solemnity of Pentecost
Franciscus

FULL TEXT + Image Source: Vatican.va -  Official Translation from the Original Italian

Pope Francis says ".. the quiet voice of the Risen Lord who keeps saying to us: “Peace be with you!” in Beautiful Letter to Priests


LETTER OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS

TO THE PRIESTS OF THE DIOCESE OF ROME Dear Brothers,

During this Easter season I had thought we could meet and celebrate the Chrism Mass together but, since a diocesan celebration was not possible, I am writing this letter to you. This new phase that we have embarked upon demands of us wisdom, farsightedness and shared commitment, so that all the efforts and sacrifices made thus far will not be in vain.
During this time of pandemic, many of you have shared with me by e-mail or telephone your experience of this unexpected and disconcerting situation. In this way, even though I was not able to leave home or encounter you directly, you let me know “first-hand” what you were going through. This in turn I have brought to my prayers, both of thanksgiving for your courageous and generous witness and of petition and trusting intercession before the Lord, who always takes us by the hand (cf. Mt 14:31). The need to maintain social distancing did not prevent us from strengthening our sense of fellowship, communion and mission; and this helped us ensure that charity, especially towards the most vulnerable individuals and communities, was not quarantined. In our frank conversations, I was able to see that necessary distancing was hardly synonymous with withdrawal or the self-absorption which anaesthetises, sedates and extinguishes our sense of mission.
Encouraged by these exchanges, I am writing to you because I want to keep close to you and accompany, support and confirm you along the way. Hope also depends on our efforts, and we have to help one another to keep it alive and active. I mean that contagious hope which is cultivated and reaffirmed in the encounter with others, and which, as a gift and a task, is given to us in order to create the new “normality” that we so greatly desire.
In writing to you, I think of the early apostolic community, which also experienced moments of confinement, isolation, fear and uncertainty. Fifty days passed amid immobility, isolation, yet the first proclamation would change their lives forever. For even as the doors of the place where they stayed were closed out of fear, the disciples were surprised by Jesus who “stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!’. After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. Again Jesus said, ‘Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you’. And with that he breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit’” (Jn 20:19-22). May we too let ourselves be surprised!
The doors of the house where the disciples met were locked for fear (Jn 20:19)
Today, as then, we sense that “the joys and the hopes, the griefs and the anxieties of the men of this age, especially those who are poor or in any way afflicted… are the joys and hopes, the griefs and anxieties of the followers of Christ. Indeed, nothing genuinely human fails to raise an echo in their hearts” (Gaudium et Spes1). How well we know this! We all listened to the numbers and percentages that daily bombarded us; with our own hands we touched the pain of our people. What we heard was not something alien to our own experience: the statistics had names, faces, stories of which we were a part. As a community of priests, we were no strangers to these situations; we did not look out at them from a window. Braving the tempest, you found ways to be present and accompany your communities; when you saw the wolf coming, you did not flee or abandon the flock (cf. Jn 10:12-13).
Suddenly we suffered the loss of family, neighbours, friends, parishioners, confessors, points of reference for our faith. We saw the saddened faces of those unable to be present and bid farewell to their loved ones in their final hours. We felt the suffering and powerlessness experienced by health care workers who, themselves exhausted, continued to work for days on end, out of a concern to meet so many needs. All of us felt the worry and fear experienced by those workers and volunteers who daily exposed themselves to risk in order to ensure that essential services were provided, and to accompany and care for the excluded and the vulnerable who were suffering even more from the effects of the pandemic. We witnessed the difficulties and discomforts of the lockdown: loneliness and isolation, especially among the elderly; anxiety, anguish and a sense of helplessness at the possibility of losing jobs and homes; violence and breakdown in relationships. The age-old fear of being infected once more reared its head. We shared the anguish and concern of entire families uncertain as to whether there would be food on the table in weeks to come.
We also experienced our own vulnerability and helplessness. Just as the kiln tests the potter’s vases, so were we put to the test (cf. Sir 27:5). Distraught, we felt all the more the precariousness of our own lives and our apostolic efforts. The unpredictability of the situation heightened the difficulty we feel in facing the unknown which we cannot control or direct and, like everyone else, we felt confused, fearful and defenceless. At the same time, we also experienced that healthy and necessary courage that refuses to yield in the face of injustice and reminds us that we were created for Life. Like Nicodemus, at night, confused by the fact that “the wind blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes”, we too wondered: “How can this be?” And Jesus tells us too: “Are you are a teacher of Israel, yet you do not understand these things?” (cf. Jn 3:8-10).
The complexity of the situation we had to face did not allow for textbook recipes or responses. It called for something much more than facile exhortations or edifying speeches incapable of touching hearts and confronting the concrete demands of life. The pain of our people was our pain, their uncertainties our own: our shared sense of frailty stripped us of any pseudo-spiritual complacency or any puritanical attempt to keep at a safe distance. No one can be unaffected by all that has happened. We can say that we experienced as a community the time when the Lord wept: for we too wept before the tomb of Lazarus his friend (cf. Jn 11:35), before the incomprehension of his people (Lk 13:14; 19:41), in the dark night of Gethsemane (cf. Mk 14:32-42; Lk 22:44). It is also the time when his disciples weep before the mystery of the cross and the evil which strikes so many innocent people. It is the bitter weeping of Peter after his denial (cf. Lk 22:62), and that of Mary Magdalene before the tomb (cf. Jn 20:11).
We know that, in situations like these, it is not easy to find the right way forward, and any number of voices will make themselves heard telling us about all that could have been done in the face of this unknown reality. Our usual ways of relating, planning, celebrating, praying, meeting and even dealing with conflict were changed and challenged by an invisible presence that turned our everyday existence upside down. Nor did it simply affect individuals, families, specific social groups or countries. The nature of the virus caused our former ways of dividing and classifying reality to disappear. The pandemic knows no descriptors, no boundaries, and none of us can think of getting by alone. We are all affected and involved.
The notion of a “safe” society, carefree and poised for infinite consumption has been called into question, revealing its lack of cultural and spiritual immunity to conflict. A series of old and new questions and problems (in many places long since considered resolved) came to dominate the horizon and our attention. Those questions will not be answered simply by resuming various activities. They necessarily challenge us to develop a capacity for listening in a way attentive yet filled with hope, serene yet tenacious, persevering yet not fearful. This can prepare and open up the path that the Lord is now calling us to take (cf. Mk 1:2-3). We know that in the wake of tribulation and painful experiences we are never again the same. So all of us need to be vigilant and attentive. The Lord himself, in the hour of his own suffering, prayed for exactly this: “I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one” (Jn 17:15). Having experienced, as individuals and in our communities, our vulnerability, frailty and limitations, we now run the grave risk of withdrawing and “brooding” over the desolation caused by the pandemic, or else that of seeking refuge in a boundless optimism incapable of grasping the deeper meaning of what is happening all around us (cf. Evangelii Gaudium, 226-228).
Times of tribulation challenge us to discern the temptations that threaten to mire us in bewilderment and confusion, in a mind-set that would prevent our communities from nurturing the new life that the Risen Lord wishes to give us. A variety of temptations can nowadays blind us and encourage sentiments and approaches that block hope from stimulating our creativity, our ingenuity and our ability to respond effectively. Rather than seeking to acknowledge frankly the gravity of the situation, we can attempt to respond merely with new and reassuring activities as we wait for everything to “return to normal”. But in this way we would ignore the deep wounds that have opened and the number of people who have fallen in the meantime. We can also sink into in a kind of numbing nostalgia for the recent past that leads us to keep repeating that “nothing will ever be the same again” and thus show ourselves incapable of inviting others to dream and to develop new paths and new styles of life.
Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you. When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you!” (Jn 20:19-21)
The Lord did not choose the perfect situation to appear suddenly in the midst of his disciples. Certainly we would have preferred that what happened did not have to happen, but it did; and like the disciples on the road to Emmaus, we too can continue to speak sadly and in hushed tones along the way (cf. Lk 24:13-21). Yet by appearing in the Upper Room behind closed doors, amid the isolation, fear and insecurity experienced by the disciples, the Lord was able to surpass all expectations and to give a new meaning to history and human events. Any time is fitting for the message of peace; in no situation is God’s grace ever lacking. Jesus’ appearance in the midst of confinement and forced absence proclaims, for those disciples and for us today, a new day capable of challenging all paralysis and resignation, and harnessing every gift for the service of the community. By his presence, confinement became fruitful, giving life to the new apostolic community.
So let us say with confidence and without fear: “Where sin increased, grace has abounded all the more” (Rom 5:20). Let us be fearless amid the messy situations all around us, because that is where the Lord is, in our midst; God continues to perform his miracle of bringing forth good fruit (cf. Jn 15:5). Christian joy is born precisely of this certainty. In the midst of the contradictions and perplexities we must confront each day, the din of so many words and opinions, there is the quiet voice of the Risen Lord who keeps saying to us: “Peace be with you!”
It is comforting to read the Gospel and think of Jesus in the midst of his people, as he welcomes and embraces life and individuals just as they are. His actions embody Mary’s moving song of praise: “He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts. He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly” (Lk 1:51-52). Jesus offers his own hands and his wounded side as a path to resurrection. He does not hide or conceal those wounds; instead, he invites Thomas to touch his pierced side and to see how those very wounds can be the source of Life in abundance (cf. Jn 20:27-29).
Over and over again, as a spiritual guide, I have been able to witness how “a person who sees things as they truly are and sympathizes with pain and sorrow is capable of touching life’s depths and finding authentic happiness. He or she is consoled, not by the world but by Jesus. Such persons are unafraid to share in the suffering of others; they do not flee from painful situations. They discover the meaning of life by coming to the aid of those who suffer, understanding their anguish and bringing relief. They sense that the other is flesh of our flesh, and are not afraid to draw near, even to touch their wounds. They feel compassion for others in such a way that all distance vanishes. In this way, they can embrace Saint Paul’s exhortation: ‘Weep with those who weep’ (Rom 12:15). Knowing how to mourn with others: that is holiness” (Gaudete et Exsultate, 76).
“As the Father has sent me, so I send you” When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them: “Receive the Holy Spirit” (Jn 20:21-22)
Dear brothers, as a community of priests, we are called to proclaim and prophesy the future, like the sentinel announcing the dawn that brings a new day (cf. Is 21:11). That new day will either be completely new, or something much worse than what we have been used to. The Resurrection is not simply an event of past history to be remembered and celebrated; it is much more. It is the saving proclamation of a new age that resounds and already bursts onto the scene: “Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?” (Is 43:19); it is the future, the “ad-vent” that the Lord even now is calling us to build. Faith grants us a realistic and creative imagination, one capable of abandoning the mentality of repetition, substitution and maintenance. An imagination that calls us to bring about a time ever new: the time of the Lord. Though an invisible, silent, expansive and viral presence has thrown us into crisis and turmoil, may we let this other discreet, respectful and non-invasive Presence summon us anew and teach us to face reality without fear. If an impalpable presence has been able to disrupt and upset the priorities and apparently overpowering global agendas that suffocate and devastate our communities and our sister earth, let us not be afraid to let the presence of the Risen Lord point out our path, open new horizons and grant us the courage to live to the full this unique moment of our history. A handful of fearful men were able to change the course of history by courageously proclaiming the God who is with us. Do not be afraid! “The powerful witness of the saints is revealed in their lives, shaped by the Beatitudes and the criterion of the final judgement” (Gaudete et Exsultate, 109).
Let us be surprised yet again by the Risen Lord. May he, whose pierced side is a sign of how harsh and unjust reality can be, encourage us not to turn aside from the harsh and difficult realities experienced by our brothers and sisters. May he teach us how to accompany, soothe and bind up the wounds of our people, not with fear but with the audacity and evangelical generosity of the multiplication of the loaves (Mt 14:15-21); with the courage, concern and responsibility of the Good Samaritan (cf. Lk 10:33-35); with the joy of the shepherd at his newfound sheep (Lk 15:4-6); with the reconciling embrace of a father who knows the meaning of forgiveness (cf. Lk 15: 20); with the devotion, gentleness and tender love of Mary of Bethany (cf. Jn 12:1-3); with the meekness, patience and wisdom of the Lord’s missionary disciples (cf. Mt 10:16-23). May the wounded hands of the Risen Lord console us in our sorrows, revive our hope and impel us to seek the Kingdom of God by stepping out of our familiar surroundings . Let us also allow ourselves to be surprised by our good and faithful people, so often tried and torn, yet also visited by the Lord’s mercy. May our people teach us, their pastors, how to mould and temper our hearts with meekness and compassion, with the humility and magnanimity of a lively, supportive, patient and courageous perseverance, one that does not remain indifferent, but rejects and unmasks every form of scepticism and fatalism. How much we have to learn from the strength of God’s faithful people, who always find a way to help and accompany those who have fallen! The Resurrection is the proclamation that things can change. May the Paschal Mystery, which knows no bounds, lead us creatively to those places where hope and life are struggling, where suffering and pain are opening the door to corruption and speculation, where aggression and violence appear to be the only way out.
As priests, sons and members of a priestly people, it is up to us to take responsibility for the future and to plan for it as brothers. Let us place in the wounded hands of the Lord, as a holy offering, our own weakness, the weakness of our people and that of all humanity. It is the Lord who transforms us, who treats us like bread, taking our life into his hands, blessing us, breaking and sharing us, and giving us to his people. And in all humility, let us allow ourselves to be anointed by Paul’s words and let them spread like a fragrant balm throughout our City, thus awakening the seeds of hope that so many people quietly nurture in their hearts: “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our bodies” (2 Cor 4:8-10). Let us share with Jesus in his passion, our passion, and experience, also with him, the power of the Resurrection: the certainty of God’s love that affects us deeply and summons us to take to the streets in order to bring “glad tidings to the poor … to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord” (cf. Lk 4:18-19), with a joy that all can share in their dignity as children of the living God.
All these things, which I have been thinking about and experiencing during this time of pandemic, I want to share fraternally with you, so that they can help us on our journey of praising the Lord and serving our brothers and sisters. I hope that they can prove useful to each of us, for “ever greater love and service”.
May the Lord Jesus bless you and the Blessed Virgin watch over you. And please, do not forget to keep me in your prayers.
Fraternally,
FRANCIS
Rome, Saint John Lateran, 31 May 2020, the Solemnity of Pentecost.
FULL TEXT + Image Source: Vatican.va -  Official Translation from the Original Italian

Special Prayer to Mary, Mother of the Church and Mother of our Faith written by the Pope



Prayer to Mary, Mother of the Church and Mother of our faith*



Mother, help our faith!
Open our ears to hear God’s word and to recognize his voice and call.
Awaken in us a desire to follow in his footsteps, to go forth from our own land and to receive his promise.
Help us to be touched by his love, that we may touch him in faith.
Help us to entrust ourselves fully to him and to believe in his love, especially at times of trial, beneath the shadow of the cross, when our faith is called to mature.
Sow in our faith the joy of the Risen One.
Remind us that those who believe are never alone.
Teach us to see all things with the eyes of Jesus, that he may be light for our path. And may this light of faith always increase in us, until the dawn of that undying day which is Christ himself, your Son, our Lord!

*Prayer to Mary at the conclusion of the Encyclical Lumen Fidei (29 June 2013)
****************
History of the Feast Day Mary, Mother of the Church - celebrated the Monday after Pentecost:
The joyous veneration given to the Mother of God by the contemporary Church, in light of reflection on the mystery of Christ and on his nature, cannot ignore the figure of a woman (cf. Gal 4:4), the Virgin Mary, who is both the Mother of Christ and Mother of the Church.
In some ways this was already present in the mind of the Church from the premonitory words of Saint Augustine and Saint Leo the Great. In fact the former says that Mary is the mother of the members of Christ, because with charity she cooperated in the rebirth of the faithful into the Church, while the latter says that the birth of the Head is also the birth of the body, thus indicating that Mary is at once Mother of Christ, the Son of God, and mother of the members of his Mystical Body, which is the Church. These considerations derive from the divine motherhood of Mary and from her intimate union in the work of the Redeemer, which culminated at the hour of the cross.
Indeed, the Mother standing beneath the cross (cf. Jn 19:25), accepted her Son’s testament of love and welcomed all people in the person of the beloved disciple as sons and daughters to be reborn unto life eternal. She thus became the tender Mother of the Church which Christ begot on the cross handing on the Spirit. Christ, in turn, in the beloved disciple, chose all disciples as ministers of his love towards his Mother, entrusting her to them so that they might welcome her with filial affection.
As a caring guide to the emerging Church Mary had already begun her mission in the Upper Room, praying with the Apostles while awaiting the coming of the Holy Spirit (cf. Acts 1:14). In this sense, in the course of the centuries, Christian piety has honoured Mary with various titles, in many ways equivalent, such as Mother of Disciples, of the Faithful, of Believers, of all those who are reborn in Christ; and also as “Mother of the Church” as is used in the texts of spiritual authors as well as in the Magisterium of Popes Benedict xiv and Leo xiii.
Thus the foundation is clearly established by which Blessed Paul vi, on 21 November 1964, at the conclusion of the Third Session of the Second Vatican Council, declared the Blessed Virgin Mary as “Mother of the Church, that is to say of all Christian people, the faithful as well as the pastors, who call her the most loving Mother” and established that “the Mother of God should be further honoured and invoked by the entire Christian people by this tenderest of titles”.
Therefore the Apostolic See on the occasion of the Holy Year of Reconciliation (1975), proposed a votive Mass in honour of Beata Maria Ecclesiæ Matre, which was subsequently inserted into the Roman Missal. The Holy See also granted the faculty to add the invocation of this title in the Litany of Loreto (1980) and published other formularies in the Collection of Masses of the Blessed Virgin Mary (1986). Some countries, dioceses and religious families who petitioned the Holy See were allowed to add this celebration to their particular calendars.
Having attentively considered how greatly the promotion of this devotion might encourage the growth of the maternal sense of the Church in the pastors, religious and faithful, as well as a growth of genuine Marian piety, Pope Francis has decreed that the Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, should be inscribed in the Roman Calendar on the Monday after Pentecost and be now celebrated every year.
Source: https://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/ccdds/documents/rc_con_ccdds_doc_20180211_decreto-mater-ecclesiae_en.html

Pope Francis says Jesus "asks us to be personally willing to be sent, because he himself is Love, love that is always “on mission” - FULL TEXT for World Mission Day


MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS
FOR WORLD MISSION DAY 2020

Here am I, send me (Is 6:8)

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I wish to express my gratitude to God for the commitment with which the Church throughout the world carried out the Extraordinary Missionary Month last October. I am convinced that it stimulated missionary conversion in many communities on the path indicated by the theme: “Baptized and Sent: the Church of Christ on Mission in the World”.
In this year marked by the suffering and challenges created by the Covid-19 pandemic, the missionary journey of the whole Church continues in light of the words found in the account of the calling of the prophet Isaiah: “Here am I, send me” (6:8). This is the ever new response to the Lord’s question: “Whom shall I send?” (ibid.). This invitation from God’s merciful heart challenges both the Church and humanity as a whole in the current world crisis. “Like the disciples in the Gospel we were caught off guard by an unexpected, turbulent storm. We have realized that we are on the same boat, all of us fragile and disoriented, but at the same time important and needed, all of us called to row together, each of us in need of comforting the other. On this boat… are all of us. Just like those disciples, who spoke anxiously with one voice, saying ‘We are perishing’ (v. 38), so we too have realized that we cannot go on thinking of ourselves, but only together can we do this” (Meditation in Saint Peter’s Square, 27 March 2020). We are indeed frightened, disoriented and afraid. Pain and death make us experience our human frailty, but at the same time remind us of our deep desire for life and liberation from evil. In this context, the call to mission, the invitation to step out of ourselves for love of God and neighbour presents itself as an opportunity for sharing, service and intercessory prayer. The mission that God entrusts to each one of us leads us from fear and introspection to a renewed realization that we find ourselves precisely when we give ourselves to others.
In the sacrifice of the cross, where the mission of Jesus is fully accomplished (cf. Jn 19:28-30), God shows us that his love is for each and every one of us (cf. Jn 19:26-27). He asks us to be personally willing to be sent, because he himself is Love, love that is always “on mission”, always reaching out in order to give life. Out of his love for us, God the Father sent his Son Jesus (cf. Jn 3:16). Jesus is the Father’s Missionary: his life and ministry reveal his total obedience to the Father’s will (cf. Jn 4:34; 6:38; 8:12-30; Heb 10:5-10). Jesus, crucified and risen for us, draws us in turn into his mission of love, and with his Spirit which enlivens the Church, he makes us his disciples and sends us on a mission to the world and to its peoples.
“The mission, the ‘Church on the move’, is not a programme, an enterprise to be carried out by sheer force of will. It is Christ who makes the Church go out of herself. In the mission of evangelization, you move because the Holy Spirit pushes you, and carries you” (Senza di Lui non possiamo fare nulla: Essere missionari oggi nel mondo. Una conversazione con Gianni Valente, Libreria Editrice Vaticana: San Paolo, 2019, 16-17). God always loves us first and with this love comes to us and calls us. Our personal vocation comes from the fact that we are sons and daughters of God in the Church, his family, brothers and sisters in that love that Jesus has shown us. All, however, have a human dignity founded on the divine invitation to be children of God and to become, in the sacrament of Baptism and in the freedom of faith, what they have always been in the heart of God.
Life itself, as a gift freely received, is implicitly an invitation to this gift of self: it is a seed which, in the baptized, will blossom as a response of love in marriage or in virginity for the kingdom of God. Human life is born of the love of God, grows in love and tends towards love. No one is excluded from the love of God, and in the holy sacrifice of Jesus his Son on the cross, God conquered sin and death (cf. Rom 8:31-39). For God, evil – even sin – becomes a challenge to respond with even greater love (cf. Mt 5:38-48; Lk 22:33-34). In the Paschal Mystery, divine mercy heals our wounded humanity and is poured out upon the whole universe. The Church, the universal sacrament of God’s love for the world, continues the mission of Jesus in history and sends us everywhere so that, through our witness of faith and the proclamation of the Gospel, God may continue to manifest his love and in this way touch and transform hearts, minds, bodies, societies and cultures in every place and time.
Mission is a free and conscious response to God’s call. Yet we discern this call only when we have a personal relationship of love with Jesus present in his Church. Let us ask ourselves: are we prepared to welcome the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives, to listen to the call to mission, whether in our life as married couples or as consecrated persons or those called to the ordained ministry, and in all the everyday events of life? Are we willing to be sent forth at any time or place to witness to our faith in God the merciful Father, to proclaim the Gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ, to share the divine life of the Holy Spirit by building up the Church? Are we, like Mary, the Mother of Jesus, ready to be completely at the service of God’s will (cf. Lk 1:38)? This interior openness is essential if we are to say to God: “Here am I, Lord, send me” (cf. Is 6:8). And this, not in the abstract, but in this chapter of the life of the Church and of history.
Understanding what God is saying to us at this time of pandemic also represents a challenge for the Church’s mission. Illness, suffering, fear and isolation challenge us. The poverty of those who die alone, the abandoned, those who have lost their jobs and income, the homeless and those who lack food challenge us. Being forced to observe social distancing and to stay at home invites us to rediscover that we need social relationships as well as our communal relationship with God. Far from increasing mistrust and indifference, this situation should make us even more attentive to our way of relating to others. And prayer, in which God touches and moves our hearts, should make us ever more open to the need of our brothers and sisters for dignity and freedom, as well as our responsibility to care for all creation. The impossibility of gathering as a Church to celebrate the Eucharist has led us to share the experience of the many Christian communities that cannot celebrate Mass every Sunday. In all of this, God’s question: “Whom shall I send?” is addressed once more to us and awaits a generous and convincing response: “Here am I, send me!” (Is 6:8). God continues to look for those whom he can send forth into the world and to the nations to bear witness to his love, his deliverance from sin and death, his liberation from evil (cf. Mt 9:35-38; Lk 10:1-12).
The celebration of World Mission Day is also an occasion for reaffirming how prayer, reflection and the material help of your offerings are so many opportunities to participate actively in the mission of Jesus in his Church. The charity expressed in the collections that take place during the liturgical celebrations of the third Sunday of October is aimed at supporting the missionary work carried out in my name by the Pontifical Mission Societies, in order to meet the spiritual and material needs of peoples and Churches throughout the world, for the salvation of all.
May the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, Star of Evangelization and Comforter of the Afflicted, missionary disciple of her Son Jesus, continue to intercede for us and sustain us.
Rome, Saint John Lateran, 31 May 2020, Solemnity of Pentecost

Franciscus

FULL TEXT + Image Source: Vatican.va -  Official Translation from the Original Italian

June is Dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus - Consecrate your Family to Jesus for Protection! Special Prayers Included


The Month of June is Dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and is especially celebrated on the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart (the Friday after the second Sunday following Pentecost) is celebrated on June 19, 2020. Jesus heart is the source of Divine love therefore, a devotion arose to increase love for Jesus through prayers. Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus has been evident for many centuries under different forms.




Traditionally, “enthronement,” or “consecration” prayers of your house (family and heart) to Jesus are said. Jesus promised to Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque that, “I will bless the homes where an image of My Heart shall be exposed and honored.” Thus, enthronement consists of reciting the prayer and placing an image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in one's home.  This is especially powerful against Evil which can attack the people of God in their homes.
Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque wrote this special prayer of consecration
O Sacred Heart of Jesus, to Thee I consecrate and offer up my person and my life, my actions, trials, and sufferings, that my entire being may henceforth only be employed in loving, honoring and glorifying Thee. This is my irrevocable will, to belong entirely to Thee, and to do all for Thy love, renouncing with my whole heart all that can displease Thee.
I take Thee, O Sacred Heart, for the sole object of my love, the protection of my life, the pledge of my salvation, the remedy of my frailty and inconstancy, the reparation for all the defects of my life, and my secure refuge at the hour of my death. Be Thou, O Most Merciful Heart, my justification before God Thy Father, and screen me from His anger which I have so justly merited. I fear all from my own weakness and malice, but placing my entire confidence in Thee, O Heart of Love, I hope all from Thine infinite Goodness. Annihilate in me all that can displease or resist Thee. Imprint Thy pure love so deeply in my heart that I may never forget Thee or be separated from Thee.
I beseech Thee, through Thine infinite Goodness, grant that my name be engraved upon Thy Heart, for in this I place all my happiness and all my glory, to live and to die as one of Thy devoted servants. Amen. 


12 Promises of Jesus given in the Vision to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
1. I will give them graces necessary for their state in life.
2. I will give peace in their families.
3. I will console them in all their troubles.
4. They shall find in My Heart an assured refuge during life and especially at the hour of death.
5. I will pour abundant blessings on all their undertakings.
6. Sinners shall find in My Heart the source and infinite ocean of mercy.
7. Tepid souls shall become fervent.
8. Fervent souls shall speedily rise to great perfection.
9. I will bless the homes in which the image of My Sacred Heart shall be exposed and honored.
10. I will give to priests the power to touch the most hardened hearts.
11. Those who propagate this devotion shall have their name written in My Heart, and it shall never be effaced.
12. I promise thee in the excess of the mercy of My Heart, that its all-powerful Love will grant to all those who shall receive Communion on the First Friday of Nine consecutive months the grace of final repentance; they shall not die under My displeasure, nor without receiving the Sacraments; My Heart shall be their assured refuge at that last hour.

  Another Form: Act of Consecration of the Human Race to the Sacred Heart of Jesus (by Pope Pius Xi)
Most sweet Jesus,  Redeemer of the human race, 
look down upon us, 
humbly prostrate before Thine altar.

We are Thine and Thine we wish to be; 
but to be more surely united with Thee, 
behold each one of us freely consecrates himself today 
to Thy Most Sacred Heart.

Many, indeed, have never known Thee; 
many, too, despising Thy precepts, 
have rejected Thee.

Have mercy on them all, 
most merciful Jesus, 
and draw them to Thy Sacred Heart.

Be Thou King, O Lord, 
not only of the faithful who have never forsaken Thee, 
but also of the prodigal children who have abandoned Thee, 
grant that they may quickly return to their Father's house, 
lest they die of wretchedness and hunger.

Be Thou King of those who are deceived by erroneous opinions, 
or whom discord keeps aloof 
and call them back to the harbour of truth and unity of faith, 
so that soon there may be but one flock and one shepherd.

Be Thou King of all those who even now sit in the shadow of idolatry or Islam, 
and refuse not Thou to bring them into the light of Thy kingdom. 
Look, finally, with eyes of pity upon the children of that race, 
which was for so long a time Thy chosen people; 
and let Thy Blood, which was once invoked upon them in vengeance, 
now descend upon them also in a cleansing flood of redemption and eternal life.

Grant, O Lord, to Thy Church, 
assurance of freedom and immunity from harm; 
give peace and order to all nations, 
and make the earth resound 
from pole to pole with one cry:
Praise to the Divine Heart
that wrought our salvation:
to it be glory 
and honour forever. Amen

In 1899 Pope Leo XIII approved this Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus for public use. 
Lord, have mercy
Christ, have mercy
Lord, have mercy

Christ, hear us
Christ, graciously hear us.

God the Father of Heaven,
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
God, the Holy Spirit,
Holy Trinity, One God,
Heart of Jesus, Son of the Eternal Father,
Heart of Jesus, formed by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mother,
Heart of Jesus, substantially united to the Word of God,
Heart of Jesus, of Infinite Majesty,
Heart of Jesus, Sacred Temple of God,
Heart of Jesus, Tabernacle of the Most High,
Heart of Jesus, House of God and Gate of Heaven,
Heart of Jesus, burning furnace of charity,
Heart of Jesus, abode of justice and love,
Heart of Jesus, full of goodness and love,
Heart of Jesus, abyss of all virtues,
Heart of Jesus, most worthy of all praise,
Heart of Jesus, king and center of all hearts,
Heart of Jesus, in whom are all treasures of wisdom and knowledge,
Heart of Jesus, in whom dwells the fullness of divinity,
Heart of Jesus, in whom the Father was well pleased,
Heart of Jesus, of whose fullness we have all received,
Heart of Jesus, desire of the everlasting hills,
Heart of Jesus, patient and most merciful,
Heart of Jesus, enriching all who invoke Thee,
Heart of Jesus, fountain of life and holiness,
Heart of Jesus, propitiation for our sins,
Heart of Jesus, loaded down with opprobrium,
Heart of Jesus, bruised for our offenses,
Heart of Jesus, obedient to death,
Heart of Jesus, pierced with a lance,
Heart of Jesus, source of all consolation,
Heart of Jesus, our life and resurrection,
Heart of Jesus, our peace and our reconciliation,
Heart of Jesus, victim for our sins
Heart of Jesus, salvation of those who trust in Thee,
Heart of Jesus, hope of those who die in Thee,
Heart of Jesus, delight of all the Saints,

Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world,
Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world,
Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world,

V. Jesus, meek and humble of heart.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.

have mercy on us.
have mercy on us.
have mercy on us.
have mercy on us.
have mercy on us.

have mercy on us.

have mercy on us.
have mercy on us.
have mercy on us.
have mercy on us.

have mercy on us.
have mercy on us.
have mercy on us.
have mercy on us.
have mercy on us.
have mercy on us.
have mercy on us.

have mercy on us.

have mercy on us.

have mercy on us.

have mercy on us.
have mercy on us.
have mercy on us.
have mercy on us.
have mercy on us.
have mercy on us.
have mercy on us.
have mercy on us.
have mercy on us.
have mercy on us.
have mercy on us.
have mercy on us.
have mercy on us.
have mercy on us.
have mercy on us.
have mercy on us.
have mercy on us.

spare us, O Lord.

graciously hear us, O Lord.

have mercy on us, O Lord.


R. Make our hearts like to Thine.
Let us pray;

Almighty and eternal God, look upon the Heart of Thy most beloved Son and upon the praises and satisfaction which He offers Thee in the name of sinners; and to those who implore Thy mercy, in Thy great goodness, grant forgiveness in the name of the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who livest and reignest with Thee forever and ever. Amen.

Vatican Issues New Motu Proprio "On transparency, control and competition in the procedures for awarding public contracts"


APOSTOLIC LETTER
ISSUED "MOTU PROPRIO"
BY THE SUPREME PONTIFF
FRANCIS
On transparency, control and competition
in the procedures
for awarding public contracts
of the Holy See and Vatican City State

The diligence of a good family father is the general principal and of the utmost respect, on the basis of which all administrators are required to perform their functions. This is required explicitly by canon law in relation to ecclesiastical assets (canon 1284 § 1 CIC), but applies in general to any other administrator.
The global economy and increased interdependence have brought to the fore the possibility of achieving significant cost savings through the work of multiple suppliers of goods and services. These possibilities must be used above all in the management of public goods, where the need for a faithful and honest administration is even more keenly felt and urgent, given that in this area the administrator is called upon to take responsibility for the interests of a community, which go well beyond those of individuals or particular interests.
This requirement has also fostered specific and consistent regulation within the international community, which now has principles and rules that inspire conduct and show the experience of the various States. It is useful to refer to this normative patrimony, with its related “good practices”, while keeping in mind the fundamental principles and aims of the canonical order and the peculiarity of that of Vatican City State.
For the purposes of enabling a more effective management of resources, I have therefore decided to approve a set of rules aimed at fostering transparency, control and competition in the procedures for the awarding of public contracts stipulated on behalf of the Holy See and Vatican City State. With these I intend to establish the general principles and outline a single procedure on the matter, through a body of regulations valid for the various bodies of the Roman Curia, for the Institutions administratively linked to the Holy See, for the Governorate of the State, and for the other canonical public juridical persons specifically identified.
At the same time, despite its unity and homogeneity, this discipline contemplates the necessary differences between the Holy See and Vatican City State, which are well known to law and universally considered in legal practice, including international practice, as well as the specific aims of each Entity which, by reason of its unique ecclesial service, is called upon to apply them. The promotion of a competitive and loyal contribution of economic operators, combined with transparency and control of procedures for the awarding of contracts, will enable a better management of the resources that the Holy See administers to achieve the purposes proper to the Church (see can. 1254 CIC), guaranteeing to the same operators equal treatment and the possibility of participation through a special Register of economic operators and specific procedures.
Furthermore, the operativity of the entire system will constitute an obstacle to restrictive agreements and will make it possible to reduce considerably the danger of corruption of those called upon to govern and manage the bodies of the Holy See and the Vatican City State.
This legislation, of a substantive nature, is accompanied by procedural regulations aimed at guaranteeing recourse to judicial protection in the event of disputes concerning the procedures for the awarding of public contracts or in relation to measures for registration or cancellation from the Register of economic operators.
The specific nature of the matter and the technical nature of the substantive regulations justify the extension of the jurisdiction of the judicial bodies of the Vatican City State, to which jurisdiction is attributed to deal with any disputes even in relation to entities of the Roman Curia, without prejudice to the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of the Apostolic Signatura in the event of a conflict of attribution.
Now, therefore, that the final drafts of the aforesaid regulations have been prepared, and after due consultation and a considered evaluation of them as a whole, I resolve “Motu Proprio”, by certain science and sovereign authority, to approve the regulations referred to in the texts annexed to this Act, to be considered integral parts thereof, which must be observed in all their parts, notwithstanding anything to the contrary, even if worthy of special mention.
I propose that the original of this Motu Proprio be promulgated by publication on the website of L’Osservatore Romano, coming into force thirty days later, and then published in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis.
Given in Rome, at Saint Peter’s, on 19 May 2020, the eighth of my Pontificate.


Pope Francis' Special Message "Today our world is experiencing a tragic famine of hope...Let us radiate hope, and the Lord will open new paths..." Full Text


VIDEO MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS
FOR THE 
“THY KINGDOM COME” EVENT
Pentecost Sunday, 31 May 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
With joy, I join Archbishop Justin Welby and all of you to share some thoughts from the heart. This is Pentecost: we celebrate the day on which the Spirit of God came down with power. Since that day, God’s life dwells among us, bringing us new and previously unknown hope, peace and joy. At Pentecost God “infected” the world with life. How different this is from the contagion of death that has ravaged the earth for months now! Today, more than ever,it is necessary to implore the Holy Spirit to pour forth into our hearts the life of God, who is love. Indeed, if there is to be a better future, our hearts must change for the better.
On the day of Pentecost, people who spoke different languages assembled and encountered one another. In these months, however, we have been required to observe appropriate and necessary measures to keep our distance from one another. Yet we have also come to understand, perhaps better, what others are experiencing: we have been brought together by fear and uncertainty. How many troubled and broken hearts are in need of comfort! I think of how, when Jesus spoke about the Holy Spirit, he used a particular word: Paraclete, that is, Comforter. Many of you have experienced the consolation brought by the Spirit, that inner peace which makes us feel loved, that gentle strength that always inspires courage, even amid suffering. The Spirit assures us that we are not alone, that God sustains us. Dear friends, we must give in turn the gift that we have received: we are called to share the comfort of the Spirit, the closeness of God.
How can we do this? Let us think about all those things that we long for: comfort, encouragement, someone to care for us, someone to pray for us, someone to weep with us and help us face our difficulties. Everything we would like others to do for us, let us do for them instead (cf. Mt 7:12). Do we want to be heard? Let us first listen. Do we need encouragement? Let us give encouragement. Do we want someone to care for us? Let us care for those who are alone and abandoned. Do we need hope for tomorrow? Let us give hope today. Today our world is experiencing a tragic famine of hope. How much pain is all around us, how much emptiness, how much inconsolable grief! Let us, then, become messengers of the comfort bestowed by the Spirit. Let us radiate hope, and the Lord will open new paths as we journey towards the future.
I would like to share with you something about this journey that we are making together. How greatly I desire that, as Christians, we can be more deeply united as witnesses of mercy for the human family so severely tested in these days. Let us ask the Spirit for the gift of unity, for only if we live as brothers and sisters can we spread the spirit of fraternity. We cannot ask others to be united if we ourselves take different paths. So let us pray for one another; let us each feel responsible for the other.
The Holy Spirit bestows wisdom and good counsel. In these days let us invoke his aid upon those charged with making complex and pressing decisions, that they may defend human life and the dignity of work. For this is what must be invested in: health, employment, and the elimination of inequalities and poverty. Now as never before we need a vision rich in humanity: we cannot start up again by going back to our selfish pursuit of success without caring about those who are left behind. And even if many are doing precisely that, the Lord is asking us to change course. On the day of Pentecost, Peter spoke with a bold courage (parrhesia) prompted by the Spirit. “Repent” (Acts 2:38), he urged, be converted, change the direction of your lives. That is what we need to do: go back, turn back to God and our neighbour: no longer isolated and anaesthetized before the cry of the poor and the devastation of our planet. We need to be united in facing all those pandemics that are spreading, that of the virus, but also those of hunger, war, contempt for life, and indifference to others. Only by walking together will we be able to go far.


Dear brothers and sisters, you are proclaiming the Gospel message of life and you are a sign of hope. I thank you from my heart. I ask God to bless you and I ask you to pray that he bless me. Thank you.

FULL TEXT + Image Source: Vatican.va -  a Translation from the Original Italian