April 26, 2020
Pope Francis celebrates Sunday Mass at the Casa Santa Marta chapel praying for those who are sad. He reminds us in his homily that Jesus is near to all who feel distress and dissatisfaction.
By Sr Bernadette Mary Reis, fsp
“Today in this Mass, we pray for all those who are suffering from sadness, because they are alone or because they do not know what to expect in the future”. This was Pope Francis’s prayer intention for Mass on Sunday at the Casa Santa Marta chapel.
He once again listed families who are suffering financially and may be without work.
Pope Francis focused his homily on the day’s Gospel (Luke 24:13-35). It recounts how the Lord accompanied the disciples on their way to Emmaus.
Christians have met Jesus
Pope Francis began his homily with a description of a Christian. “A person is Christian because he or she has met Jesus and has allowed Jesus to meet them”. The Lord interacts with us in just the same way that He interacted with the two disciples on the way to Emmaus, the Pope continued.
We are thirsty for God
It begins with the “seed of dissatisfaction” that we are born with, he explained. Many times, we are not aware of the thirst in our souls for fulfillment. We take many wrong roads seeking what in the end never satisfies us. What we are really thirsting for is “the encounter with God”, Pope Francis stated.
God is thirsty for us
At the same time, God thirsts to meet us. This is why God sent Jesus so that He could draw near and satisfy this thirst. Jesus is extremely respectful of “our personal situation”, “He moves slowly”, “He is respectful of our readiness”, “He is patient”, “He doesn’t rush ahead”, Pope Francis explained. Jesus accompanies us at our side and invites us to talk about what bothers us, even to the point of feigning ignorance.
The Lord likes to hear us speak so He can understand us well and to give the correct response to our dissatisfaction. The Lord does not accelerate. He always goes at our own pace… He waits for us to take the first step. And when it is the right moment, He asks us a question… Then He responds. He explains up until the right point… Then He pretends to go farther, to see how deep our dissatisfaction is… At the moment when our dissatisfaction meets Jesus, the life of grace and fullness of life begins there.
What did Jesus say?
Pope Francis says that he has always been curious to know what Jesus said to those two disciples “so as to do the same”. “It must have been a beautiful catechesis”, he said. Jesus accompanies us along the entire journey, even when we are not aware of His presence.
We meet Jesus in the darkness of our doubts, even in the horrible darkness of our sins. The Lord is always there to help us in our distress. He’s always with us… The Lord accompanies us because He desires to meet us. This is the core of Christianity.
The Pope’s prayer
The Pope’s concluding prayer was that “Jesus might grant to each one of us the grace of meeting Him every day, to knowing and to specifically recognize that He walks with us in every moment. He is our companion along the pilgrim way”.