Year of Faith #3
30 March 2013
I have written to the community twice before during this Year of Faith, and I will do so now, briefly, during the Holy Triduum.
Quite simply, it has been an amazing Year. I hope and pray that you have seen it from that vantage point, too, through the Papal transition to Pope Francis’ first weeks, blessed with the richness of Lent and now Easter.
For your consideration, I share three excerpts from Pope Francis’ homilies, talks, and reflections.
• • • On Mercy: Angelus, 17 March 2013 • • •
“…God's mercy. Let us not forget this word: God never ever tires of forgiving us! “Well, Father what is the problem?”. Well, the problem is that we ourselves tire, we do not want to ask, we grow weary of asking for forgiveness. He never tires of forgiving, but at times we get tired of asking for forgiveness.
Let us never tire, let us never tire! He is the loving Father who always pardons, who has that heart of mercy for us all. And let us too learn to be merciful to everyone. Let us invoke the intercession of Our Lady who held in her arms the Mercy of God made man.”
Adults and teenagers alike can think they have it all figured out -- My dear parents and students, you all are more alike than you think! – may we never tire of confession and reconciliation. May we know that we can’t know all, and always and often turn to our Heavenly Father, trusting in His love and His mercy.
• • • On the Prodigal Son: Papal Audience, 27 March 2013 • • •
“God always thinks with mercy: do not forget this. God always thinks with mercy: our merciful Father. God thinks like a father who awaits the return of his child and goes to meet him, sees him coming when he is still far away ... What does this mean? That each and every day he went out to see if his son was coming home. This is our merciful Father. It is the sign that he was waiting for him from the terrace of his house.”
This image of the Father in that familiar parable has meant a great deal to me, and so I hope with you: the image of the Father seeking to give mercy, ready to give it fully and openly, only when we turn towards him. Trusting that He see us "from far away."
• • • Palm Sunday: Joy, Cross, and Youth • • •
We as a school talked about these three words around which the Pope framed his homily, and I share them again this Easter to all in our community.
“Jesus is God, but he lowered himself to walk with us. He is our friend, our brother. He illumines our path here. And in this way we have welcomed him today. And here the first word that I wish to say to you: joy! Do not be men and women of sadness: a Christian can never be sad! Never give way to discouragement! Ours is not a joy born of having many possessions, but from having encountered a Person: Jesus, in our midst; it is born from knowing that with him we are never alone, even at difficult moments, even when our life’s journey comes up against problems and obstacles that seem insurmountable, and there are so many of them! And in this moment the enemy, the devil, comes, often disguised as an angel, and slyly speaks his word to us. Do not listen to him! Let us follow Jesus! We accompany, we follow Jesus, but above all we know that he accompanies us and carries us on his shoulders.”
“Christ’s Cross embraced with love never leads to sadness, but to joy, to the joy of having been saved and of doing a little of what he did on the day of his death.”
“With Christ, the heart never grows old!”
And why do our hearts -- when one with Christ, and placed deep within the heart of Mary our mother -- “never grow old”? Simply, because we have confidence that we have a brother in Christ, who walked the Way of the Cross of our sins, that we are forgiven. And we trust that He calls us to “put out into the deep” and to share that joy, that hope, that trust in His mercy with others.
I pray that we all were aware this Good Friday of Christ’s walk for us, and that this Easter Sunday, we will be fully aware of His Resurrection, and shine forth that Hope confidently and openly to all we meet.
Count on my prayers for you this Easter -- please pray for our community -- please pray for those who trouble you -- please pray for me.
Today and every day, my dear friends in Christ, may we do "a little of what [Christ] did on the day of his death," may we -- with great humility and faith and courage and love -- lift someone else's Cross, so that they may do the same, for us and for the whole world.
Your servant in Christ,