‘In drawing close to those ill-treated by life, we are loving Jesus’

ill-treated by life

Pope Francis opened Holy Week celebrations the Palm Sunday ceremony in St. Peter’s Basilica.

“For the second time we are living in the context of the pandemic.

“Last year we were more shocked, this year we are more tried, and the economic crisis has become heavier,” he said after reciting the Angelus at the end of Mass.

“In this historic and social situation, what is God doing?” he asked, referring to the more than 100 million Covid-19 cases and more than 2.7 million deaths from the pandemic worldwide in the past year.

“He takes up the cross. Jesus takes the cross; that is, he takes on himself the evil that this reality brings, the physical, psychological and above all the spiritual evil, because the Evil One takes advantage of this crisis to sow distrust, desperation and lies.”

Jesus “experienced our deepest sorrows: failure, loss of everything, betrayal by a friend, even abandonment by God.”

Addressing the worldwide audience for the internationally televised ceremony, Francis asked, “And we, what must we do [in this situation]?”

His answer: “The Virgin Mary, the Mother of Jesus and his first disciple, shows us the way.”

She “followed her son” and “took on herself her own part of the suffering, of the darkness and bewilderment, and she walked on the road of the Passion, keeping alive in her heart the lamp of faith.”

Pope Francis said that “we too, with the grace of God, can make the same journey. And along the daily ‘way of the cross,’ we encounter many brothers and sisters in difficulty.

“Let us not pass by, let our hearts be moved with compassion and draw near.”

He then invited his global audience to join him in prayer for all victims of violence, especially for “the victims of his morning’s attack in Indonesia, in front of the cathedral of Makassar.”  Continue reading

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