Monday, April 17, 2017

Easter Reflection

"This week is the week of joy: we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus. It is a true, profound joy, based on the certainty that the Risen Christ dies no more, but is alive and working in the Church and in the world. This certainty has dwelt in the heart of believers since that Easter morning, when the women went to Jesus’ sepulcher and the Angels said to them: 'Why do you seek the living among the dead?' (Luke 24:5). 'Why do you seek the living among the dead?' These words are as a milestone in history, but also an 'obstacle stone' if we do not open ourselves to the Good News, if we think that a dead Jesus bothers us less than a living Jesus! Instead, how many times in our daily journey do we need to hear said: “Why are you seeking the living among the dead?” How many times do we seek life among dead things, among things that cannot give life, among things that today exist and tomorrow are no longer, things that pass … 'Why do you seek the living among the dead?'

"We are in need of this when we shut ourselves in some form of egoism or self-complacency; when we allow ourselves to be seduced by earthly powers and by the things of this world, forgetting God and our neighbor; when we put our hopes in worldly vanity, in money, in success. Then the Word of God says to us: 'Why do you seek the living among the dead?' Why are you looking there? That thing cannot give you life! Yes, perhaps it will give you the joy of a minute, a day, a week, a month … and then? 'Why do you seek the living among the dead?' This phrase must enter our heart and we must repeat it...Today, when we go home, we will say it from our heart, in silence, and we will ask ourselves this question: why do I in life seek the living among the dead? It will do us good."

--Pope Francis, General Audience, April 23, 2014

Monday, April 10, 2017

Reflection for Holy Week

"Jesus reaches complete humiliation with his 'death on the cross.' It is the worst death -- that reserved for slaves and criminals. Jesus was considered a prophet, but he died as a criminal. Looking at Jesus in his Passion, we see as in a mirror the sufferings of humanity and we find the divine answer to the mystery of evil, of grief and of death. So often we perceive the horror of the evil and pain that surrounds us and we ask: “Why does God allow it?” It is a profound wound for us to see suffering and death, especially that of the innocent! When we see children suffering, it is a wound to the heart: it is the mystery of evil. And Jesus takes upon himself all this evil, all this suffering. It will do us all good this week to look at the crucifix, to kiss Jesus’ wounds, to kiss him on the cross. He took upon himself all human suffering, he clothed himself in this suffering.

"We expect God, in His omnipotence, to defeat injustice, evil, sin and suffering with a triumphant divine victory. Instead, God shows us a humble victory which humanly seems a failure. We can say that God conquers in failure! In fact, the Son of God appears on the cross as a defeated man: he suffers, is betrayed, is despised and finally dies. However, Jesus allows evil to rage on him and he takes it upon himself to defeat it. His Passion is not an incident; his death – that death – was 'written.' Truly, we do not find many explanations. It is a disconcerting mystery, the mystery of God’s great humility: 'For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son' (John 3:16). We think so much of Jesus’ grief this week and we say to ourselves: this is for me. Even if I were the only person in the world, he would have done it. He did it for me. We kiss the crucifix and we say: for me, thank you Jesus, for me."

--Pope Francis, General Audience, April 16, 2014