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Pope Francis Masses 2023:

 

Maundy Thursday, HOLY CHRISM MASS, 6 April 2023

Holy Mass video. Homily Text.

Extracts:

Dear brothers, something similar happens in our own priestly and apostolic lives. We too experienced an initial anointing, which began with a loving call that captivated our hearts and set us out on the journey; the power of the Holy Spirit descended upon our genuine enthusiasm and consecrated us.  Later, in God’s good time, each of us experienced a Passover, representing the moment of truth. A time of crisis which took various forms. Sooner or later, we all experience disappointment, frustration and our own weakness; our ideals seem to recede in the face of reality, a certain force of habit takes over, and difficulties that once seemed unimaginable appear to challenge our fidelity…

 

Yet this crisis also has the potential to be a turning point in our priesthood, the “decisive stage of the spiritual life, in which the ultimate choice has to be made between Jesus and the world, between heroic charity and mediocrity, between the cross and comfort, between holiness and dutiful fidelity to our religious obligations”. [5] At the end of this celebration, they will give you a gift, a classic, a book that talks about this problem: “The second calling”. It is a classic by Father Voillaume who touches on this problem…    An anointing that penetrates to the depths of our reality, where the Spirit anoints our weaknesses, our weariness, our inner poverty. An anointing that brings a new fragrance: that of the Spirit, not of ourselves. At this very moment, inwardly, I am thinking of some of you who are in crisis – let’s say – who are disoriented and do not know how find their way, how to get back on the road of this second anointing of the Spirit. To these brothers – of whom I am thinking – I simply say: courage, the Lord is greater than your weaknesses, your sins. Trust the Lord and let yourself be called a second time, this time with the anointing of the Holy Spirit. A double life will not help you; not a chance, throw everything out the window. Look ahead, let yourself be caressed by the anointing of the Holy Spirit.

 

If we allow the Spirit of Truth to act within us, we will preserve his anointing, because the various untruths – the hypocrisy of clericalism – with which we are tempted to live will come to light immediately. And the Spirit who “cleanses what is unclean”, will tirelessly suggest to us “not to defile our anointing”, even in the least. We think of that phrase of the Preacher, who says that “dying flies spoil the sweetness of the ointment” (10:1). It is true, every form of duplicity – especially clerical duplicity – that insinuates itself is dangerous: it must not be tolerated, but brought into the light of the Spirit. For “the heart is devious above all else; it is perverse, and who can heal it?” ( Jeremiah 17:9). The Holy Spirit, he alone, heals our infidelities (cf. Hosea 14:4). For us, this an unavoidable struggle: it is indispensable, as Saint Gregory the Great wrote, that “those who proclaim the word of God, must first be concerned with their own way of life; then, based on his own life, he can learn what to say and how to say it… Let no one presume to say more than what first he heard within”. [8] The Spirit is that interior teacher to whom we must listen, recognizing that he desires to anoint every part of us. Brothers, let us preserve our anointing, invoking the Spirit not as an occasional act of piety, but as the breath of each day. Come, come, and preserve our anointing. Consecrated by him, I am called to immerse myself in him, to make his life penetrate my darkness – and we all have this darkness – so that I can rediscover the truth of who and what I am.  Let us allow ourselves to be impelled by him to combat the untruths that struggle within us. And let us allow ourselves to be reborn from him through adoration, for when we adore the Lord, he pours forth into our hearts his Spirit.

 

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me; he has sent me”, so the prophecy continues, to bring good news, liberty, healing and grace (cf. Isaiah 61:1-2; Luke 4:18-19): in a word, to bring harmony wherever it is lacking. As Saint Basil said: “the Spirit is harmony”, he is the one that brings harmony. After speaking to you about anointing, I would like to say something to you about the harmony that is its consequence. Because the Holy Spirit is harmony. Above all in heaven: Saint Basil notes that “all supercelestial and unspeakable harmony in the service of God and in the mutual symphony of the supercosmic powers, would be impossible to preserve, if not for the authority of the Spirit”…

 

To create harmony is what the Spirit desires, above all through those upon whom he has poured out his anointing. Brothers, building harmony among ourselves is not simply a good way of improving the functioning of ecclesial structures, it is not the minuet dance, or a matter of strategy or politeness: it is an intrinsic demand of the life of the Spirit. We sin against the Spirit who is communion whenever we become, even unintentionally, instruments of division. For example, I would mention again the topic of gossip. When we become instruments of division we sin against the Spirit. And whenever we play the game of the enemy, who never comes out into the open, who loves gossip and insinuation, foments parties and cliques, fuels nostalgia for times past, distrust, pessimism and fear. Let us take care, please, not to defile the anointing of the Holy Spirit and the robe of Holy Mother Church with disunity, polarization or lack of charity and communion. Let us remember that the Spirit, as “the We of God”, prefers the “shape” of community: willingness with regard to one’s own needs, obedience with regard to one’s own tastes, humility with regard to one’s own claims.

 

Harmony is not one virtue among others; it is something more. As Saint Gregory the Great writes: “the worth of the virtue of concord is shown by the fact that without it, the other virtues have no value whatsoever”. [12] Let us help one another, brothers, to preserve harmony – this is the task – starting not from others but each of us from himself. Let us ask ourselves: In my words, in my comments, in what I say and write, is there the seal of the Spirit or that of the world? Do I think about the kindness of the priest – but more often than not, we priests, we are rude – let us think about the kindness of the priest: if people see, in us too, people who are dissatisfied and discontented bachelors, who criticize and point fingers, where else will they find harmony? How many people fail to approach us, or keep at a distance, because in the Church they feel unwelcomed and unloved, regarded with suspicion and judged? In God’s name, let us be welcoming and forgiving, always! And let us remember that being irritable and full of complaints does not produce good fruits, but spoils our preaching, since it is a counter-witness to God, who is communion in harmony. Above all, it displeases greatly the Holy Spirit, whom the apostle Paul urges us not to grieve (cf. Ephesians 4:30)…

Pope Francis I (Homily, 6 April 2023)

 

Palm Sunday

Homily, 2 April 2023

Holy Mass (with Angelus Prayer) video (American Sign Language). Homily Text.

Extracts: See Mass Readings, Past Homilies and Angelus.

 

"24 Hours for the Lord": Celebration of Reconciliation (Parish of Santa Maria delle Grazie al Trionfale, 17 March 2023)

Homily Video. Homily Text.

Full extracts with hyperlinks to the Readings:

“Whatever gains I had, these I have come to regard as loss because of Christ” (Philippians 3:7). That is what Saint Paul tells us in the first reading. And if we ask ourselves what were those things that he no longer considered important in his life, and was even content to lose in order to find Christ, we realize that they were not material riches, but a fund of “religious” assets. Paul was devout and zealous, just and dutiful (cf. vv. 5-6). Yet, this very religiosity, which could have seemed a source of pride and merit, proved to be an impediment for him. Paul goes on to say: “I have suffered the loss of all things, and I regard them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ” (v. 8). Everything that had given him a certain prestige, a certain fame...; “forget it: for me, Christ is more important”.

 

People who are extremely rich in their own minds, and proud of their religious accomplishments, consider themselves better than others – how frequently does this happen in a parish: “I’m from Catholic Action; I’m going to help the priest; I do the collection... it’s all about me, me, me”; how often people believe themselves better than others; each of us, in our hearts, should reflect on whether this has ever happened – they feel satisfied that they cut a good figure. They feel comfortable, but they have no room for God because they feel no need for him. And many times “good Catholics”, those who feel upright because they go to the parish, go to Mass on Sunday and boast of being righteous, say: “No, I don’t need anything, the Lord has saved me”. What has happened? They have replaced God with their own ego, and although they recite prayers and perform works of piety, they never really engage in dialogue with the Lord. They perform monologues in place of dialogue and prayer. Scripture tells us that only “the prayer of the humble pierces the clouds” (Sirach 35:21), because only those who are poor in spirit, and conscious of their need of salvation and forgiveness, come into the presence of God; they come before him without vaunting their merits, without pretence or presumption. Because they possess nothing, they find everything, because they find the Lord.

 

Jesus offers us this teaching in the parable that we have just heard (cf. Luke 18:9-14). It is the story of two men, a Pharisee and a tax collector, who both go to the Temple to pray, but only one reaches the heart of God. Even before they do anything, their physical attitude is eloquent: the Gospel tells us that the Pharisee prayed, “standing by himself” right at the front, while the tax collector, “standing far off, would not even look up to heaven” (v. 13), out of shame. Let us reflect for a moment on these attitudes.

 

The Pharisee stood by himself. He is sure of himself, standing proudly erect, like someone to be respected for his accomplishments, like a model. With this attitude, he prays to God, but in fact he celebrates himself. I go to the Temple, I observe the Law, I give alms… Formally, his prayer is perfect; publicly, he appears pious and devout, but instead of opening his heart to God, he masks his weaknesses in hypocrisy. How often we make a façade of our lives. This Pharisee does not await the Lord’s salvation as a free gift, but practically demands it as a reward for his merits. “I’ve completed my tasks, now I demand my prize”. This man strides right up to the altar of God and takes his place in the front row, but he ends by going too far and puts himself before God!

 

The tax collector, on the other hand, stands far off. He doesn’t push himself to the front; he stays at the back. Yet that distance, which expresses his sinfulness before the holiness of God, enables him to experience the loving and merciful embrace of the Father. God could come to him precisely because, by standing far off, he had made room for him. He doesn’t speak about himself, he addresses God and asks for forgiveness. How true this is, also with regard to our relationships in our families, in society, and in the Church! True dialogue takes place when we are able to preserve a certain space between ourselves and others, a healthy space that allows each to breathe without being sucked in or overwhelmed. Only then, can dialogue and encounter bridge the distance and create closeness. That happens in the life of the tax collector: standing at the back of the Temple, he recognizes the truth of how he, a sinner, stands before God. “Far off”, and in this way making it possible for God to draw near to him.

 

Brothers, sisters, let us remember this: the Lord comes to us when we step back from our presumptuous ego. Let us reflect: Am I conceited? Do I think I’m better than others? Do I look at someone with a little contempt? “I thank you, Lord, because you have saved me and I’m not like those people who understand nothing; I go to church, I attend Mass; I am married, married in church, whereas they are divorced sinners…”: is your heart like this? That is the way to perdition. Yet to get closer to God, we must say to the Lord: “I am the first of sinners, and if I have not fallen into the worst filth it is because your mercy has taken me by the hand. Thanks to you, Lord, I am alive; thanks to you, Lord, I have not destroyed myself with sin”. God can bridge the distance whenever, with honesty and sincerity, we bring our weaknesses before him. He holds out his hand and lifts us up whenever we realize we are “hitting rock bottom” and we turn back to him with a sincere heart. That is how God is. He is waiting for us, deep down, for in Jesus he chose to “descend to the depths” because he is unafraid to descend even to our inner abysses, to touch the wounds of our flesh, to embrace our poverty, to accept our failures in life and the mistakes we make through weakness and negligence, and all of us have done so. There, deep down, God waits for us, and he waits for us especially in the sacrament of Penance, when, with much humility, we go to ask forgiveness, as we do today. God is waiting for us there.

 

Brothers and sisters, today let each of us make an examination of conscience, because the Pharisee and the tax collector both dwell deep within us. Let us not hide behind the hypocrisy of appearances, but entrust to the Lord’s mercy our darkness, our mistakes. Let us think about our wretchedness, our mistakes, even those that we feel unable to share because of shame, which is alright, but with God they must show themselves. When we go to confession, we stand “far off”, at the back, like the tax collector, in order to acknowledge the distance between God’s dream for our lives and the reality of who we are each day: poor sinners. At that moment, the Lord draws near to us; he bridges the distance and sets us back on our feet. At that moment, when we realize that we are naked, he clothes us with the festal garment. That is, and that must be, the meaning of the sacrament of Reconciliation: a festal encounter that heals the heart and leaves us with inner peace. Not a human tribunal to approach with dread, but a divine embrace in which to find consolation.

 

One of the most beautiful aspects of how God welcomes us is his tender embrace. If we read of when the prodigal son returns home (cf. Luke 15:20-22) and begins to speak, the father does not allow him to speak, he embraces him so he is unable to speak. A merciful embrace. Here, I address my brother confessors: please, brothers, forgive everything, always forgive, without pressing too much on people’s consciences; let them speak about themselves and welcome them like Jesus, with the caress of your gaze, with silent understanding. Please, the sacrament of Penance is not for torturing but for giving peace. Forgive everything, as God will forgive you everything. Everything, everything, everything.

 

In this season of Lent, with contrite hearts let us quietly say, like the tax collector, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner!” (v. 13). Let us do so together: God, be merciful to me, a sinner! God, when I forget you or I neglect you, when I prefer my words and those of the world to your own word, when I presume to be righteous and look down on others, when I gossip about others, God, be merciful to me, a sinner! When I care nothing for those all around me, when I’m indifferent to the poor and the suffering, the weak and the outcast, God, be merciful to me, a sinner! For my sins against life, for my bad example that mars the lovely face of Mother Church, for my sins against creation, God, be merciful to me, a sinner! For my falsehoods, my duplicity, my lack of honesty and integrity, God, be merciful to me, a sinner! For my hidden sins, which no one knows, for the ways in which I have unconsciously wronged others, and for the good I could have done and yet failed to do, God, be merciful to me, a sinner!

 

In silence, let us repeat these words for a few moments, with a repentant and trusting heart: God, be merciful to me, a sinner! And in this act of repentance and trust, let us open our hearts to the joy of an even greater gift: the mercy of God.

Pope Francis I (Homily, 17 March 2023)

 

Ash Wednesday: Holy Mass, Blessing and Imposition of the Ashes (22 February 2023)

Holy Mass Video (Homily starts @ 38:00/1:21:46). Homily Text.

Extracts: See Mass Readings, Past Homilies and Angelus.

 

Apostolic Journey to South Sudan: Holy Mass at “John Garang” Mausoleum (Juba, 5 February 2023)

Holy Mass Video. Homily Text.

 

Apostolic Journey to the Democratic Republic of Congo: Holy Mass at “Ndolo” Airport (Kinshasa, 1st February 2023)

Holy Mass Video. Homily Text.

 

Solemnity of the Conversion of Saint Paul - Celebration of Second Vespers (25 January 2023)

Holy Mass Video (Not available). Homily Text.

 

Sunday of the Word of God (3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time), 22 January 2023

Holy Mass Video (Homily starts at 27:48/1:36:29). Homily Text.

Extracts: See Mass Readings, Past Homilies and Angelus.

 

Feast of the Baptism of the Lord (8 January 2023)

Holy Mass Video (Homily starts at 21:50/1:30:42). Homily Text.

See Mass Readings, Past Homilies and Angelus.

 

Holy Mass on the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord (6 January 2023)

Homily Video (American Sign Language). Homily Text.

See Mass Readings, Past Homilies and Angelus.

 

Papal Chapel for the Funeral of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI (5 January 2023)

Homily Video (American Sign Language). Homily Text.

https://twitter.com/Michael65413248/status/1609592642387726336

 

Holy Mass on the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God (1st January 2023)

Holy Mass Video (American Sign Language). Homily Text.

See Mass Readings, Past Homilies and Angelus.

 

Pope Francis Masses 2022:

 

Celebration of Vespers and Te Deum in Thanksgiving for the past year (31 December 2022)

Holy Mass Video (American Sign Language). Homily Text.

 

SOLEMNITY OF THE NATIVITY OF THE LORD, 24 December 2022

Holy Mass Video. Pope Francis I’s Homily starts at 44:55/1:59:30

Homily Text.

Extracts: See “Mass Readings, Past Homilies and Angelus”.

 

Holy Mass (video) on the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, 12 December 2022

Mass Readings from EWTN, USCCB, Universalis (Christian Art).

Homily Video (American Sign Language).

English Translation of the Homily Text not uploaded yet on 19 December 2022, 13:38 SGT.

 

Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe - Holy Mass (Asti Cathedral, 20 November 2022)

Homily, 20 November 2022

Holy Mass Video. Homily starts at 47:00/1:56:19.

Homily Text.

Extracts: See “Mass Readings, Past Homilies and Angelus”.

 

33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C

13 November 2022 Holy Mass, World Day of the Poor

Holy Mass Video (Pope’s Homily starts at 24:30/1:26:09). Homily Text.

Extracts: See “Mass Readings, Past Homilies and Angelus”.

 

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