MORNING CELEBRATION BROADCAST LIVE
FROM THE CHAPEL OF CASA SANTA MARTA
HOMILY OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS
"Jesus prays for us before the Father, showing his wounds"
Thursday, April 23, 2020
In many parts you feel one of the effects of this pandemic: many families who need, go hungry and unfortunately the usurers' group "helps" them. This is another pandemic. The social pandemic: families of people who have a daily job, or unfortunately a black job, who cannot work and do not have food ... with children. And then the moneylenders take the little they have. Let's pray. We pray for these families, for those many children of these families, for the dignity of these families and we also pray for the usurers: that the Lord touch their hearts and be converted.
The First Reading continues the story that began with the healing of the cripple at the Porta Bella del Tempio. The apostles were brought before the Sanhedrin, then sent to prison, then an angel freed them. And this morning, just that morning, they had to leave the prison to be judged, but they had been freed by the angel and preached in the Temple (cf Acts 5: 17-25). "In those days, [the commander and the attendants] led the apostles and presented them to the Sanhedrin" (v. 27); they went to get them in the temple and took them to the Sanhedrin. And there, the high priest scolded them: "Didn't we expressly forbid you from teaching in this name?" (v. 28) - that is, in the name of Jesus - and you, "behold, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and you also want to make this man's blood fall upon us" (v. 28). Because the apostles, especially Peter, and John reproached the leaders, the priests, for having killed Jesus. And then Peter replied with the apostles with that story: "We must obey God, we are obedient to God and you are guilty of this "(Cf Acts 5,29-31). And he accuses, but with a courage, with a frankness, that one wonders: “But this is the Peter who denied Jesus? That Peter who was so afraid, that Peter who was also a coward? How did it come here? " And he also ends by saying: "And we are witnesses of these facts and the Holy Spirit who is with us, whom God has given to those who obey him" (cf. v. 32). What was the way of this Peter to get to this point, this courage, this frankness, to expose himself? Because he could compromise and say to the priests: "But rest assured, we will go, we will speak a little in a lower tone, we will never accuse you in public, but you leave us alone ...", and reach compromises .
Throughout history, the Church has had to do this many times to save God's people. And many times, it has also done so to save itself - not the Holy Church, but the leaders. Compromises can be good and they can be bad. But they could get out through compromise. No! Pietro said: “No compromise. You are the guilty ones "(cf. v. 30), and with this courage.
And how did Peter get to this point? Because he was an enthusiastic man, a man he loved with strength, even a fearful man, a man who was open to God to the point that God reveals to him that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, but shortly after - immediately - he leaves fall into the temptation to say to Jesus: "No, Lord, on this road no: let's go for the other": redemption without a cross. And Jesus says to him: "Satan" (cf. Mk 8: 31-33). A Peter who went from temptation to grace, a Peter who is able to kneel before Jesus and say: "get away from me who am a sinner" (cf. Lk 5,8), and then a Peter who tries to get by without being seen and in order not to end up in prison, he denies Jesus (cf. Lk 22: 54-62). He is an unstable Peter because he was very generous and also very weak. What is the secret, what is the strength that Peter had to get here? There is a verse that will help us understand this. Before the Passion, Jesus said to the apostles: "Satan has sought you to sift you like wheat" (Lk 22:31). It is the moment of temptation: "You will be like this, like wheat". And to Peter he says: "And I will pray for you," that your faith will not fail "" (v. 32). This is Peter's secret: Jesus' prayer. Jesus prays for Peter, so that his faith may not fail and he can - says Jesus - confirm his brothers in faith. Jesus prays for Peter.
And what Jesus did with Peter does it with all of us. Jesus prays for us; pray before the Father. We are used to praying Jesus to give us this grace, that other one, to help us, but we are not used to contemplating Jesus who makes the Father see the wounds, Jesus, the intercessor, Jesus who prays for us. And Peter was able to go all this way, from cowardly to brave, with the gift of the Holy Spirit thanks to the prayer of Jesus.
Let's think about this. Let us turn to Jesus, thanking that he prays for us. Jesus prays for each of us. Jesus is the intercessor. Jesus wanted to bring the wounds with him to show them to the Father. It is the price of our salvation. We must have more confidence; more than in our prayers, in Jesus' prayer. "Lord, pray for me" - "But I am God, I can give you ..." - "Yes, but pray for me, because you are the intercessor". And this is Peter's secret: "Peter, I will pray for you" that your faith will not fail "" (Lk 22:32).
May the Lord teach us to ask him the grace to pray for each of us.
Prayer for spiritual communion
At your feet, O my Jesus, I bow down and offer you the repentance of my contrite heart that abysses itself in its nothingness and in your holy presence. I adore you in the sacrament of your love, (the Eucharist). I wish to receive you in the poor abode that my heart offers you; waiting for the happiness of sacramental communion I want to possess you in spirit. Come to me, or 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.