MORNING CELEBRATION BROADCASTED LIVE
FROM THE CHAPEL OF CASA SANTA MARTA
FROM THE CHAPEL OF CASA SANTA MARTA
HOMILY OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS
"To pray is to go with Jesus to the Father who will give us everything"
Sunday, May 10, 2020
In these past two days, there have been two commemorations: the 70th anniversary of the Robert Schuman Declaration that started the European Union, and also the commemoration of the end of the war. Today we ask the Lord for Europe to grow united in this unity of brotherhood which makes all peoples grow in unity in diversity.
In this passage of the Gospel (cf. Jn 14 : 1-14), Jesus' farewell speech, Jesus says that he goes to the Father. And he says that he will be with the Father and that even those who believe in him «will do the works that I do and will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. And whatever you ask in my name, I will do it, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it "(vv. 12-14). We can say that this passage from the Gospel of John is the declaration of the ascent to the Father.
The Father has always been present in the life of Jesus, and Jesus spoke about it. Jesus prayed to the Father. And many times, he spoke of the Father who cares for us, as he cares for birds, lilies of the field ... The Father. And when the disciples asked him to learn to pray, Jesus taught to pray to the Father: " our Father " ( Mt 6,9). Always goes [turns] to the Father. But in this step it is very strong; and it is also as if it opens the doors of the omnipotence of prayer . “Because I am with the Father: you ask and I will do everything. But because the Father will do it with me "(cf. Jn14,11). This trust in the Father, trust in the Father who is capable of doing everything. This courage to pray, because it takes courage to pray! It takes the same courage, the same frankness as to preach: the same. We think of our father Abraham, when he - I believe it is said - "haggled" with God to save Sodom (cf. Gen 18,20-33): "What if they were less? And less? And less? ... ". Really, he knew how to "negotiate". But always with this courage: "Excuse me, Lord, but give me a discount: a little less, a little less ...". Always the courage of the struggle in prayer, because praying is fighting : fighting with God. And then, Moses: the two times that the Lord would have wanted to destroy the people (cf. Ex 32.1-35 and cf Nm11.1-3) and making him head of another people, Moses said "No!". And he said "no" to the Father! With courage ! But if you go to pray like this - [a timid prayer whispers] - this is a lack of respect! To pray is to go with Jesus to the Father who will give you everything. Courage in prayer, frankness in prayer. The same that it takes for the preaching.
And we heard in the first reading that conflict in the early days of the Church (cf. Acts 6 : 1-7), because the Christians of Greek origin murmured - they murmured, already at that time this was done: it is seen that it is a habit of the Church ... - they murmured because their widows, their orphans were not well cared for; the apostles did not have time to do many things. And Peter [with the apostles], enlightened by the Holy Spirit, "invented", so to speak, deacons. "Let's do one thing: we look for seven people who are good and who take care of the service" (cf Acts6.2 to 4). The deacon is the custodian of service in the Church. "And so these people, who have reason to complain, are well taken care of in their needs and we - says Peter, have heard it - and we will dedicate ourselves to prayer and the proclamation of the Word" (cf. v. 5). This is the bishop's task: to pray and preach . With this strength that we felt in the Gospel: the bishop is the first to go to the Father, with the trust that Jesus gave, with courage, with parrhesia, to fight for his people. The first task of a bishop is to pray. Peter said it: "And to us, prayer and the proclamation of the Word".
I met a priest, a good parish priest, who when he found a bishop greeted him, well, very amiable, and always asked the question: "Your Excellency, how many hours a day do you pray?", And always said: "Why is the first task is to pray ”. Because it is the prayer of the head of the community for the community, the intercession to the Father to protect the people.
The bishop's prayer, the first task: to pray. And the people, seeing the bishop pray, learn to pray. Because the Holy Spirit teaches us that it is God who "does the thing". We do a little bit, but it is he who "does the things" of the Church, and prayer is the one that carries the Church forward. And for this the heads of the Church, to say so, the bishops, must go on with prayer.
That word of Peter is prophetic: “That deacons do all this, so people are well cared for and have solved problems and even their needs. But to us, bishops, prayer and the proclamation of the Word ".
It is sad to see good bishops, good, good people, but busy in many things, the economy, and this and that other and that other ... Prayer in the first place. Then, the other things. But when other things take away space for prayer, something doesn't work. And the prayer is strong for this that we have heard in the Gospel of Jesus: «I am going to the Father. And whatever you ask the Father in my name, I will do it, so that the Father may be glorified "( Jn 14,12-13) Thus goes on the Church, with prayer, the courage of prayer, because the Church knows that without this ascent the Father cannot survive.
Prayer to make spiritual communion
People who do not communicate now make spiritual communion:
At your feet or 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. In anticipation of the happiness of sacramental communion, I want to possess you in spirit. Come to me or my Jesus, whom 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 + Image Source: Vatican.va - a Translation from the Italian