Pope Francis at Mass says "Everyone can do a little good, without waiting for others to start." Full Text Homily




Piazza Cavour (Camerino)
Sunday, June 16, 2019

"What is man ever because you remember him?" We prayed in the Psalm (8.5). These words came to my mind thinking of you. Faced with what you have seen and suffered, in front of collapsed houses and buildings reduced to rubble, comes this question: what is man ever? What is it, if what you raise can collapse in an instant? What is it if its hope can end in dust? What is man ever? The answer seems to come from the continuation of the sentence: what is the man because you remember him? Of us, as we are, with our frailties, God remembers. In the uncertainty that we feel outside and inside, the Lord gives us a certainty: He remembers us. He is re-corded, that is, he returns with his heart to us, because we care about Him. And while too many things are quickly forgotten here, God does not leave us in oblivion. No one is contemptible in his eyes, each has an infinite value for him: we are small under heaven and powerless when the earth trembles, but for God we are more precious than anything.

Remember is a key word for life. We ask for the grace to remember every day that we are not forgotten by God, that we are his beloved children, unique and irreplaceable: remembering it gives us the strength not to give up before the setbacks of life. We remember how much we are worth, in front of the temptation to be sad and to continue to dig up the worst that seems to never end. Bad memories arrive, even when we don't think about them; but they pay badly: they leave only melancholy and nostalgia. But how difficult it is to free yourself from bad memories! That saying is valid, according to which it was easier for God to get Israel out of Egypt than Egypt from the heart of Israel.

To free the heart from the past that returns, from the negative memories that keep prisoners, from the regrets that paralyze, you need someone to help us carry the weights that we have inside. Today Jesus says that we are not "capable of bearing the burden" of many things (see Jn 16:12). And what does it do in the face of our weakness? It does not take away the burdens, as we would like, that we are always looking for quick and superficial solutions; no, the Lord gives us the Holy Spirit. We need Him because he is the Comforter, the One who does not leave us alone under the burdens of life. It is He who transforms our slave memory into free memory, the wounds of the past into memories of salvation. He does in us what he has done for Jesus: his wounds, those ugly wounds carved by evil, by the power of the Holy Spirit have become channels of mercy, luminous wounds in which God's love shines, a love that rises, that resurrects. This is what the Holy Spirit does when we invite Him into our wounds. He anoints bad memories with the balm of hope, because the Holy Spirit is the reconstructor of hope.

Hope. What hope is this? It is not a passing hope. Earthly hopes are fleeting, they always have the expiration date: they are made of earthy ingredients, which sooner or later go bad. That of the Spirit is a long-lasting hope. It does not expire, because it is based on the fidelity of God. The hope of the Spirit is not even optimism. Born deeper, it rekindles at the bottom of the heart the certainty of being precious because loved. It instills the confidence of not being alone. It is a hope that leaves peace and joy inside, regardless of what happens outside. It is a hope that has strong roots, which no storm of life can uproot. It is a hope, says St. Paul today, that "does not disappoint" (Rom 5: 5) - hope does not disappoint! -, which gives the strength to overcome all tribulations (see vv. 2-3). When we are troubled or wounded - and you know well what it means to be troubled, wounded -, we are led to "nest" around our sadness and our fears. The Spirit, on the other hand, frees us from our nests, makes us take flight, discloses to us the wonderful destiny for which we were born. The Spirit feeds us with living hope. Invite him. Let us ask him to come to us and he will come near. Come, Comforter Spirit! Come give us some light, give us the sense of this tragedy, give us the hope that does not disappoint. Come, Holy Spirit!
Proximity is the third and final word I would like to share with you. Today we celebrate the Holy Trinity. The Trinity is not a theological puzzle, but the splendid mystery of God's closeness. The Trinity tells us that we do not have a solitary God up there in heaven, distant and indifferent; no, he is the Father who gave us his Son, who became man like us, and who, to be even closer to us, to help us carry the burdens of life, sends us his own Spirit. He, who is Spirit, comes into our spirit and so consoles us from within, brings us the tenderness of God within us. With God the burdens of life do not remain on our shoulders: the Spirit, whom we name every time we make the sign of the cross just as we touch our backs, comes to give us strength, to encourage us, to support the weights. In fact, he is a specialist in resurrecting, raising, rebuilding. It takes more strength to repair than to build, to start over and start again, to reconcile and to agree. This is the strength that God gives us. Therefore whoever comes close to God does not come down, he goes on: he starts again, he tries again, he rebuilds. He also suffers, but manages to start over, to try again, to rebuild.

Dear brothers and sisters, I have come today simply to be near you; I am here to pray with you, God who remembers us, because no one forgets who is in trouble. I pray to the God of hope, because what is unstable on earth does not shake the certainty we have inside. I pray to the Near God, to stir up concrete gestures of proximity. Almost three years have passed and the risk is that, after the first emotional and media involvement, the attention will drop and the promises will end up on the back burner, increasing the frustration of those who see the territory becoming more and more crowded. The Lord instead pushes to remember, to repair, to rebuild, and to do it together, without ever forgetting those who suffer.
What is the man because you remember him? God who remembers us, God who heals our wounded memories by anointing them with hope, God who is close to us to rise from within, this God helps us to be builders of good, consolers of hearts. Everyone can do a little good, without waiting for others to start. "I'll start, I'll start, I'll start": everyone has to say this. Everyone can console someone, without waiting for his problems to be solved. Even carrying my cross, I try to get closer to console others. What is man ever? It is your big dream, Lord, that you always remember. Man is your great dream, Lord, of which you always remember. It is not easy to understand this in these circumstances, Lord. Men forget about us, they don't remember this tragedy. But you, Lord, do not forget yourself. Man is your great dream Lord, which you always remember. Lord, let us also remember that we are in the world to give hope and closeness, because we are your children, "God of all consolation" (2 Cor 1: 3).
Full Text + Image Source Share from Vatican.va - Unofficial Translation
Holy Mass Starts at 1h:15min. in Video Below