05/10/2020, 12.02
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Pope: Europe, unity in diversity. A bishop’s first task is prayer

At today's mass in Casa S. Marta, Pope Francis prays for Europe, which celebrates the end of the Second World War and the first attempts that will give life to the European Union. In his homily he stressed "the omnipotence of prayer". "The bishop's task: pray and preach". "It is sad to see good bishops, good, good people, but busy in many things, the economy, and this and that and the other".

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - A thought for Europe, in the days when the end of the Second World War is commemorated, and a strong emphasis on the value of prayer, to be expressed with "courage": these are the elements that characterized the Mass presided over by Pope Francis this morning in the Casa S. Marta chapel and broadcast via streaming, as has been the case for two months, due to the pandemic and restrictions on celebrating masses with the faithful.

In the introduction to the Eucharist, Francis said: “In these two past days, there have been two commemorations: the 70th anniversary of the Robert Schuman Declaration, which gave birth to the beginning of the European Union, and also the commemoration of the end of the war. Today we ask the Lord for Europe to grow united in this unity of fraternity which makes all peoples grow in unity in diversity".

In the homily he focused on today's Gospel (5th after Easter, year A, John 14, 1-12) in which in his farewell speech, Jesus tells the disciples that whoever believes him will do the works that he does, on the contrary, "he will accomplish more", because He goes "to the Father".

This passage, he explained, "is very strong" because "it is as if He is opening the doors of the omnipotence of prayer: ‘Whatever you ask in my name, I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it’ (John 13-14)."

We therefore need "trust in the Father who is capable of doing everything" and have the "courage to pray, because to pray it takes courage. It takes the same courage, the same frankness as to preach ".

Referring then to the first reading (Acts 6, 1-7) on the election of the first deacons, who took care of the service, while the apostles dedicated themselves "to prayer and the proclamation of the Word", he added: “This is the bishop's task: to pray and preach. With this strength that we felt in the Gospel: the bishop is the first to go to the Father, with the trust that Jesus gave, with courage, with parrhesia, to fight for his people. The first task of a bishop is to pray”.

“And the people, seeing the bishop pray, learn to pray. Because the Holy Spirit teaches us that it is God who 'does things’. We do our small part, but it is he who 'does the things' of the Church, and prayer is what moves the Church forward. "

"It is sad - he reiterated - to see good bishops, good, good people, but busy in many things, the economy, and this and that and the other ... First prayer. Then, other things. But when other things take space away from prayer, something is not working. And prayer is powerful."

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