By Deborah Castellano Lubov

Never lose your sense of belonging to God’s people…

Today, May 7th, Pope Francis gave this advice to those watching his private daily Mass at his residence Casa Santa Marta, reported Vatican News.

At the start of the Mass, Pope Francis prayed for all victims of Coronavirus, and for artists after sharing that yesterday he received a letter from a group of them thanking him for his prayers.

“I would like to ask the Lord to bless them,” Francis said, “because through artists we understand beauty, and without beauty we cannot understand the Gospel.”

In his homily, the Holy Father reflected on today’s reading from the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 13, 13-25), in which Paul, having arrived in Antioch in Pisidia, goes to the synagogue and tells the history of the people of Israel and proclaims Jesus, our Savior.

“When Paul explains the new doctrine,” the Jesuit Pope recalled, “he speaks of the history of salvation,” noting he did this because before Jesus, there is a history of grace, of election, there is the Covenant.

Highlighting this long history, the Pope pointed out: “The Lord chose Abraham and walked with His people.”

Paul, the Pope said, does not begin with Jesus, he begins with history, because “Christianity is not only a doctrine, but a history that leads to this doctrine.”

Christianity, the Pope also suggested, is more than its ethical and moral principles, stating: “Christianity is more.”

The Pope reminded that Christianity is not just for specific groups, nor for an elite, lamenting that often we fall into these partialities.

Warning against losing our sense of belonging to God’s people, Francis invited faithful to always be aware of being part of a people, to transmit the history of our salvation, to preserve the memory of the people of God.

“Remember your ancestors,” says the author of the Letter to the Hebrews, he said.

“The most dangerous deviation of Christians,” Francis warned, “is lack of memory of belonging to a people.”

This, he blamed, as the root of dogmatism, moralism, and elitist movements.

Instead, he encouraged, the People of God walk behind a promise, a covenant, that they did not make but of which they are aware.

Pope Francis concluded, saying: “We are the faithful, holy People of God, who in its totality have a sense of the faith and is infallible in its belief.”

The Pope ended the celebration with Eucharistic Adoration and Benediction, inviting the faithful to make a Spiritual Communion.

The Masses in Francis’ chapel normally welcome a small group of faithful, but due to recent measures’ taken by the Vatican, are now being kept private, without their participation. The Holy Week and Easter celebrations in the Vatican were also done without the presence of faithful, but were able to be watched via streaming.

It was announced at the start of the lockdowns in Italy that the Pope would have these Masses, in this period, be available to all the world’s faithful, via streaming on Vatican Media, on weekdays, at 7 am Rome time, along with his weekly Angelus and General Audiences.

On May 4th, the country entered its so-called ‘Phase 2′, where it will slowly relaxing some of the lockdown restrictions.

In Italy where nearly 30,000 people have died from COVID19, public Masses are still prohibited. To date, in the Vatican, there have been eleven cases of coronavirus in the Vatican, confirmed a recent statement from the Director of the Holy See Press Office, Matteo Bruni.

The Vatican Museums are closed, along with the Vatican’s other similar museums. There have also been various guidelines implemented throughout the Vatican, to prevent the spread of the virus.

For anyone interested, the Pope’s Masses at Santa Marta can be watched live and can be watched afterward on Vatican YouTube. Below is a link to today’s Mass. Also, a ZENIT English translation of the Pope’s full homily is below:

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FULL HOMILY [translated by ZENIT’s Virginia Forrester]

The post Pope’s Morning Homily: Don’t Lose Sense of Belonging to God’s People (Full Text) appeared first on ZENIT – English.

Read More: Vatican News