Visiting the areas in the Archdiocese of Camerino-San Severino Marche hit by a quake, Pope Francis comforted the faithful so that they can rebuild, starting from the fact that "God remembers us". He noted that that “Three years have gone by and the risk is that, after the first emotional and media involvement, attention will fall and promises will be forgotten, increasing the frustration of those who see the area become increasingly depopulated. The Lord instead pushes us to remember, repair, rebuild, and to do so together, without ever forgetting those who suffer.” “Everyone can do some good, without waiting for others to start.” The Pope also spoke about a new Blessed and made an appeal for the Persian Gulf.
Camerino (AsiaNews) – Pope Francis this morning celebrated Mass on the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity in Cavour Square in Camerino (central Italy), a town hit a by a major earthquake in 2015. In his address, he said that "It takes more strength to repair than to build, to restart than to start, to reconcile than to get along.”
A crowd of a few thousand people gathered in the square in front of a somber altar, still showing the wounds of the quake; around it, scaffolded buildings, secured windows, support beams.
The Pope left the Vatican at 7.50 am by helicopter. After he met with the authorities, he arrived in Camerino where he visited some temporary dwellings that seem to have become permanent, as reconstruction seems to be moving at a snail’s pace due to red tape. The situation, noted the local bishop Mgr Francesco Massara, has left people wondering.
In his homily, the Pope points to the strength from which to start again. "Whoever approaches God does not lose heart, [but] goes forward: restarts, retries, rebuilds". In fact, "In the uncertainty we feel without and within, the Lord gives us a certainty: He remembers us: ri-corda in Italian, that is, he returns with his heart to us, because He cares about us. And while down here too many things are quickly forgotten, God does not leave us in oblivion."
Turning to today’s Gospel (John 16, 12-15), in which Jesus promises the Comforter, the Holy Father explained that "To free the heart from the past that returns, from negative memories that keep us prisoners, from regrets that paralyse, we need someone to help us carry the burdens we have inside. Today Jesus says that we ‘cannot bear’ many things (Jn 16:12).
“And what does he do in the face of our weakness? He does not take away the burdens, as we, who always seek quick and superficial solutions, would like. No, the Lord gives us the Holy Spirit. We need Him because he is the Comforter, the One who does not leave us alone under the burdens of life. He is the One who transforms our slave memory into free memory, the wounds of the past into memories of salvation . . . The Holy Spirit is the rebuilder of hope.
“Hope. What hope is this? . . . It is hope that leaves peace and joy inside, regardless of what happens outside. It is hope that has strong roots, that no storm in life can uproot. It is hope, says Saint Paul today, that "does not disappoint" (Rom 5:5), that gives the strength to overcome all afflictions (see verses 2-3)."
At the end of the homily, Francis said: "I pray to the God who is close to elicit concrete gestures of closeness. Three years have gone by and the risk is that, after the first emotional and media involvement, attention will fall and promises will be forgotten, increasing the frustration of those who see the area become increasingly depopulated.
“The Lord instead pushes us to remember, repair, rebuild, and to do so together, without ever forgetting those who suffer . . . Everyone can do some good, without waiting for others to start. Everyone can comfort someone, without waiting for their problems to be solved. What ever is man? This is your big dream, Lord, which you always remember. Make sure that we too may remember that we are in the world to give hope and closeness, because we are your children, ‘God of all encouragement’ (2 Cor 1: 3)."
At the end of the Mass, before the Angelus, Francis mentioned yesterday’s beatification of Edvige Carboni, in Pozzomaggiore (Sardinia). He described her as "a simple woman of the people who in her humble way embraced the Cross, bearing witness of faith and charity”. He then asked those present to give the new Blessed a round of applause.
The pontiff went on to note that the world is celebrating United Nations World Refugee Day this week (20 June). "This day invites everyone to show solidarity with men, women and children fleeing wars, persecution and violations of fundamental rights”, he said.
Finally, the Pope expressed concern about the rise in tensions in the Persian Gulf, after an attack against to Japanese-owned ships, which the United States blamed on Iran. Francis stressed that every problem or issue should be resolved through peaceful and diplomatic means.