Pope Francis wrapped up an intense 1-day apostolic visit to the Italian port city of Genoa with the celebration of Mass.
To the faithful present for the open-air ceremony in Genoa’s Kennedy Square, the Pope said Christians must never tire of working for the common good, they must never fear going out into the world with Christ’s message of peace and hope…
“Christian prayer is not a way of being a little bit at peace with oneself or finding some interior harmony; we pray in order to bring all to God, to entrust the world to Him,” Pope Francis said on Saturday. He was delivering a homily at an evening Mass in the Italian port city of Genoa. The Mass at the seafront was the final event of his day-long visit to the city, during which he met the clergy and religious, youth, prisoners, children and staff of a pediatric hospital and lunched with the poor and the marginalized.
Prayer – God’s power and strength
Commenting on the scripture readings of Sunday, the Pope explained that in Christ’s Ascension “the power of Jesus, the strength of God” is revealed that has “linked earth with heaven for us”. And this power continues even today and will last forever in Christ’s unceasing prayers and intercession for us before the Father, every moment….especially at every Mass. And “Jesus has gifted this capacity to intercede also to us, to his Church, that has the power and also the duty to intercede and pray for all.”
The power of prayer lies in anchoring ourselves on God with our burdens, persons and situations in order not to be submerged by what he described as this “evil of living”. Prayer allows God to enter our time. “Prayer is intercession. It’s not tranquility, it’s charity,” the Pope stressed.
The Pope said our power lies not in triumphing or shouting loud according to the logic of the world but in exercising the ‘gentle power of prayer’, with which one can even stop wars and obtain peace.
Proclamation – reachig out, not closed in
Another power of Jesus revealed in the Ascension is that of proclamation. When Jesus sent his disciples to proclaim Him with the power of the Holy Spirit, He trusted us with all our shortcomings. And in this, a great imperfection that we need to overcome immediately is that of closing ourselves. It’s because the Gospel cannot be shut in and sealed, because God’s love is dynamic and wants to reach others. Hence to proclaim Him, one needs to go out, come out of oneself.
With the Lord is it is forbidden to relax in acquired comforts. A Christian is always on the move with the Lord towards other. He is a pilgrim, a missionary, a hopeful marathon man, gentle but intent on walking, the Pope said. The Lord desires that the proclamation goes ahead with his strength, not with that of the world, with the limpid and meek strength of joyful witnessing. This, the Pope said, is urgent.