During Mass in Casa Santa Marta, streamed lived, Pope Francis praised the publican's prayer. People must “approach the Lord with humility.” people must pray “with the naked soul, without make-up, without disguising one's virtues,” the pontiff said. People must pray for spiritual communion.
Vatican City (AsiaNews) – In the Mass streamed live from Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis prayed this morning for "families who cannot leave home,” forced into isolation by the coronavirus outbreak.
Introducing the celebration, the pontiff said: “Today I would like to mention families that cannot leave home. Perhaps the only vista they have is from the balcony,” where we find “the family, with the children, the kids, the parents: May they know how to communicate well, build family relationships based on love; may they know how to overcome the anxieties of this time together, within the family. Let us ask for peace for families today, in this crisis, and for creativity.”
Like many priests at such a time, Francis now celebrates Mass without people, expressing every day a special intention linked to the pandemic: for doctors and nurses, for those who die because of COVID-19, for prisoners, etc. ...
In his homily he cited today’s readings (Hosea 6: 1-6 and Luke 18:9-14), focusing mainly on the Gospel parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector.
“In the Gospel,” Francis said, “Jesus teaches us how to pray. There are two men, a conceited one who goes off to pray in order to say that he is a good person, someone who likes telling God: ‘Look, I am so good: if you need something, tell me, I will solve your problem". This is how he addresses God. What Conceit! ...
“Then there is the other one, the tax collector, who does not stand before the altar. No! He remains at a distance. ‘Stopping at a distance, he dared not even raise his eyes heavenward,’” but instead “beat his chest saying: ‘God, have mercy on me a sinner’.”
“The Lord teaches us how to pray, how to approach, how we must approach the Lord, with humility,” said Francis. “There is a beautiful image in the liturgical hymn of the feast of Saint John the Baptist. He says that people are coming to the Jordan to receive the baptism, with ‘naked soul and feet’. Praying with the naked soul, without make-up, without disguising with one’s virtues. He, we read at the beginning of the Mass, forgives all sins but needs me to show him the sins, with my nakedness. Praying like this, naked, with a naked heart, without covering up, without trusting even what I learnt about how to pray.”
today too, the celebration ended with Eucharistic adoration and blessing. Owing to the government ban on communal Mass, it has become very difficult to receive the Eucharist. For this reason, Pope Francis mentioned the possibility of spiritual communion, and recited the traditional prayer:
I believe that You
are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love You above all things,
and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment
receive You sacramentally,
come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You.