3 Apr 2015

Holy Thursday with Pope Francis in Rome 2015

Chrism Mass in Rome - Pope Francis to priests: Christ is our strength in ministry

From Vatican Radio - Pope Francis celebrated the Chrism Mass on Thursday morning in St. Peter’s Basilica. The Chrism Mass is the liturgy in which the oils – of the infirm, of the catechumens, and the sacred chrism – are blessed for use in the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Orders, and Anointing of the Sick, throughout the year. It is also an occasion on which bishops traditionally reflect on the nature of priestly ministry, with the priests of their diocese.

Pope Francis blows in an amphora containing holy oil
during a Chrism mass for Holy Thursday
on April 2, 2015 at St Peter's basilica
In his homily, Pope Francis focused on three particular forms of weariness that can affect priests, especially, in their lives: the weariness of the crowd, which the Holy Father described as, “[A] good and healthy tiredness,” which is “the exhaustion of the priest who wears the smell of the sheep… but also smiles the smile of a father rejoicing in his children or grandchildren.” ; the weariness of enemies – a particular danger, since, “The evil one is far more astute than we are, and he is able to demolish in a moment what it took us years of patience to build up, so that priests must take heart in the words of the Lord, “Have courage!  I have overcome the world! (Jn. 16:33)”; and, weariness of oneself, which arises when the priest loses sight of the truth that his work is – first and last – a labour of love, for which Pope Francis counsels, “Only love gives true rest,” adding, “what is not loved becomes tiresome, and in time, brings about a harmful weariness.”

The Holy Father concluded his reflection with a reminder that priests, too, are disciples of Christ with a special vocation within the Church, saying that, when priests remember that Christ loved all of us first, and loved us to the end, “Our discipleship itself is cleansed by Jesus, so that we can rightly feel ‘joyful’, ‘fulfilled’, ‘free of fear and guilt’, and impelled to go out ‘even to the ends of the earth, to every periphery.’  In this way we can bring the good news to the most abandoned, knowing that ‘he is with us always, even to the end of the world.’”

You can read the full homily HERE.

Pope Francis celebrates In Coena Domini Mass at Rebibbia prison

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Thursday evening celebrated the Mass of the Lord's Supper at Rome's Rebibbia prison.  The Mass was also attended by inmates at a nearby women's detention centre.  During the Mass Pope Francis washed the feet of 6 men and 6 women, including one mother holding her small child in her lap.

During his off-the-cuff homily, Pope Francis focused on the passage of the Gospel reading which said "He loved His own in the world, and He loved them until the end."

"He loves us without limits, until the end," Pope Francis said.  "He never tires of loving....He loves all of us, so that he would even give his own life for us." Pope Francis pointed at individual inmates and said, Jesus gave his life "for you, for you, for you, for me...for everyone, first name and last name. His love is like this...so personal."

The Holy Father told them God "never tires of loving, as he never tires of embracing us." Quoting Isaiah, Pope Francis said: "God's love has no limits – 'Even if a mom forgets her child, I won't forget you.' That's God's love for us."

During the Rite of the Washing of the Feet, several of the inmates cried as the Pope washed their feet.  One woman detainee from Africa was holding her young child, and the Pope washed his feet, too.

Earlier in his homily, the Pope has said in the time of Jesus, washing feet was the work of a slave. "Jesus is so loving, that he became a slave to serve us, to heal us, to cleanse us," said Pope Francis. "I also need to be cleansed by the Lord," he said. "And for this, pray during this Mass, so that the Lord also washes my sins and stains, too, so that I become more slave-like in the service of people as Jesus did."

Pope Francis homily from Zenit.

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