By Virginia Forrester

Here is a ZENIT translation of the address Pope Francis gave today, before and after praying the midday Regina Caeli from the Library of the Apostolic Vatican Palace. At the end of the Regina Caeli, the Pope appeared at the window of his study and imparted his Blessing.

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Before the Regina Caeli:

Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!

In today’s Gospel (Cf. John 14:1-12) we hear the beginning of Jesus’ so-called “Farewell Discourse.” They are the words He addresses to the disciples at the end of the Last Supper, just before facing the Passion. In this dramatic moment, Jesus began by saying: “Let not your hearts be troubled” (v. 1). He says it also to us, in the dramas of life. But what can one do not to have one’s heart troubled, because the heart does get anxious?

The Lord points out two remedies for anxiety. The first is: “Have faith in Me” (v. 1). It seems to be somewhat theoretical, abstract advice. However, Jesus wishes to say something precise to us. He knows that in life the worst anxiety, agitation, is born from a feeling of not making it, of feeling alone and without points of reference in the face of what is happening. This anguish, in which difficulty is added to difficulty, cannot be overcome on one’s own. We are in need of Jesus’ help and, therefore, Jesus asks us to have faith in Him, namely, not to lean on ourselves but on Him, because freedom from anxiety passes through entrustment. To entrust ourselves to Jesus, to make the “leap.” And this is freedom from anxiety. And Jesus is risen and alive precisely to be always by our side. So we can say to Him: Jesus I believe You are risen and are by my side. I believe You listen to me. I bring to You what is disturbing me, my cares: I have faith in You and I entrust myself to You.”

Then there is a second remedy for anxiety, which Jesus expresses with these words: “In my Father’s house there are many rooms. [. . . ] I go to prepare a place for you” (v. 2) See, what Jesus has done for us: He has reserved a place for us in Heaven. He took our humanity upon Himself to take it beyond death, to a new place, in Heaven, so that where He is we can also be. It is the certainty that consoles us; there is a place reserved for each one. There is a place also for me. Each one of us can say: there is a place for me. We don’t live without an end, without a destination. We are awaited; we are precious. God is in love with us, we are His children. And He has prepared for us the most worthy and beautiful place: Paradise. Let’s not forget it: the dwelling that awaits us is Paradise. Here we are passing; we are made for Heaven, for eternal life, to live forever. Forever: is something that we are not even able to imagine now. However, it’s more beautiful to think that this forever will be wholly in joy, in full communion with God and with others, without more tears, without resentments, without divisions and anxiety.

However, how can Paradise be attained? What is the way? Here is Jesus’ decisive phrase today” “I am the Way” (v. 6). Jesus is the way to go up to Heaven; it is to have a living relationship with Him, and to imitate Him in love; it’s to follow His steps. And I, a Christian, you, a Christian, each one of us Christians can ask ourselves: what way do I follow?” There are ways that don’t lead to Heaven: the ways of worldliness, the ways of self-assertion the ways of selfish power. And there is the way of Jesus, the way of humble love, of prayer, of meekness, of trust, of service to others. It’s not the way of my prominence; it’s the way of Jesus, protagonist of my life. It’s to go forward every day saying to Him: “Jesus, what do you think of this choice of mine? What would you do in this situation, with these persons?” It will do us good to ask Jesus, who is the Way, the pointers for Heaven. May Our Lady, Queen of Heaven, help us to follow Jesus, who opened Paradise for us.

© Libreria Editrice Vatican

[Original text: Italian] [ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]

After the Regina Caeli:

Dear Brothers and Sisters!

My thought goes today to Europe and to Africa: to Europe, on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Schuman Declaration of May 9, 1950. It has inspired the European process of integration, making possible the reconciliation of the peoples of the Continent, after Word War II, and the long period of stability and peace, of which we benefit today. May the spirit of the Schuman Declaration not fail to inspire all those that have responsibilities in the European Union, called to address in a spirit of concord and collaboration the social and economic consequences caused by the pandemic.

And my look goes also to Africa because, forty years ago, on May 10, 1980, Saint John Paul II, during his first pastoral visit to that Continent, gave voice to the cry of the populations of the Sahel, harshly tested by drought. Today I congratulate the young people that are working for the “Laudato Si’ Trees” initiative. The objective is to plant at least one million trees in the Sahel region, which will form part of the “Great Green Wall of Africa. “ I hope that many can follow the example of solidarity of these young people.

Celebrated today in many countries is Mother’s Day. I wish to remember with gratitude and affection all mothers, entrusting them to the protection of Mary, our Heavenly Mother. My thought goes also to mothers that have passed to the other life and who accompany us from Heaven. Let’s have a bit of silence for each one to remember his/her mother [silent pause].

I wish you all a happy Sunday. Please, don’t forget to pray for me. Enjoy your lunch and goodbye.

© Libreria Editrice Vatican

[Original text: Italian] [ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]

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