By Deborah Castellano Lubov

Jesus is our consoler…. and He is preparing Heaven for us…

Today, May 8th, 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 specifically for the Red Cross and Red Crescent organizations.

“Today is World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day. Let us pray for the people who work in these meritorious institutions. May the Lord bless their work that does so much good.”

In his homily, the Holy Father reflected on today’s Gospel, where Jesus consoled the disciples when they had become melancholy upon learning from the Lord, that one of them would betray Him.

Consolation, the Argentinian Pontiff observed, can come in different forms: genuine, formal, or even inauthentic.

But Jesus’s way of consoling us in times of difficulty, he clarified, is different, as it takes three forms: nearness, truth and hope.

Jesus’ consolation, he underscored, is never distant, but always close.

When Jesus consoles, He does not use empty words. He says to us “I am here; I am with you.” The force of His presence and His closeness speaks to us even though it is silent.

Reflecting on truth, Pope Francis remarked that the Gospel passage demonstrates that Jesus did not hide the truth from His disciples.

Jesus spoke the truth gently, without seeking to hurt His disciples. Jesus, the Jesuit Pope expressed, speaks the truth because he is “the Way, the Truth and the Life.”

Turning to hope, Jesus consoled His disciples and restored their hope.

Francis reminded that Jesus said: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. In my Father’s house, there are many dwelling places. I am going to prepare a place for you,” (Jn. 14:2).

Jesus, the Holy Father also reassured, goes ahead of us to open the doors of heaven for all of us.

“As Jesus reassures His disciples that He would come back to take them with Him,” the Pontiff noted, “so He will come back to take us. Jesus does not promise that we will not suffer but rather that when we do, he will be close to us to console us.”

Francis acknowledged that it is “not easy to allow ourselves to be consoled by the Lord.” In bad times, he noted, we may become angry with God and we do not allow Him to console us.

Pope Francis concluded, praying: Pope Francis prayed that we might allow ourselves to be consoled by the Lord. His consolation “is nearness, He is truth, and He opens the doors of hope”.

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.

Public Masses in Italy with the faithful will resume on Monday, May 18th, according to a statement of the Italian Bishops’ Conference. There will continue to be various safety measures in place, in order to protect the faithful.

In Italy where nearly 30,000 people have died from COVID19, public Masses are still prohibited. To date, in the Vatican, there have been twelve 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 will be published shortly.



FULL HOMILY [translated by ZENIT’s Virginia Forrester] – to be posted in the near future

The post Pope’s Morning Homily: Jesus, Our Consoler, Prepares Heaven for Us appeared first on ZENIT – English.

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