Pope in Carpi: Resurrection of Lazarus, stand at the tombside, or stand at the side of Jesus
At Mass in the town hit by an earthquake in 2012, Pope Francis invites people "with God's help" to rise above the "rubble" and rebuild "with patient hope." Witnesses of hope to the "hearts weary and weighed down by sadness". A meeting with Card. Caffara one of the cardinals "doubtful" on Amoris Laetitia. Remembrance and prayer for the victims in Colombia, the fighting in Congo, tensions in Venezuela and Paraguay.
Carpi (AsiaNews) – “We can stand at tomb side or the side of Jesus" said Pope Francis today during Mass celebrated in the Emilian cities of Carpi, hit by an earthquake in May 2012, struggling to rebuild itself.
This invitation to make a decision and as well the temptation to discouragement were the focus of Pope Francis homily, following the Gospel story of the resurrection of Lazarus (John 11: 1-45): "There are those who allow themselves to become closed in sadness and those instead who are open to hope. Some people are still trapped beneath the rubble of life and those who, like you, with the help of God raise the rubble and rebuild with patient hope.
In front of the big 'why' of life we have two options: We can sit sadly by the tombs of yesterday and today, or bring Jesus to our tombs. Yes, because each of us has a small tomb, a space that is a little 'dead inside our heart: a wound, an injury suffered or done, a bitterness that we cannot let go of, remorse, a sin we cannot overcome. We need to identify these our tombs today and invite Jesus there ".
"Let us not be imprisoned by the temptation of being alone and disheartened to feel sorry for ourselves for what happens to us; do not yield to the useless and inconclusive logic of fear, resigned to repeat that everything is wrong and nothing is like it used to be. This is the atmosphere of the tomb; instead the Lord wants to open a way of life, an encounter with Him, trust in Him, in the resurrection of the heart.
Thus the words of Jesus to Lazarus speak to each one of us: 'Come out!' of the impasse, come out of sadness without hope; untie the bandages of fear that obstruct your path; the ties and weaknesses of the concerns that stop you, say again that God loosens the knots. In following Jesus we learn not to tie our lives around the problems that tangle us up: there will always be problems and, when we solve one, another one regularly comes along. We can, however, find a new stable, and this stability is precisely Jesus who is the resurrection and life: with him, joy dwells in the heart, hope is reborn, pain is transformed into peace, fear into confidence, our trials an offering of love. And although there will always be heavy burdens to bear, His hand will help lift them up, His Word will encourage us and He will say, 'Come out! Come to me!'".
"Visited and liberated by Jesus - he concluded - we ask for the grace to be witnesses of life in this world that is thirsty, witnesses that arouse and raise the hope of God in the hearts that are weary and weighed down by sadness. Our announcement is the joy of the living Lord, who still says, as in Ezekiel: "Look! I am going to open your graves; I will make you come up out of your graves, my people" (Ez 37,12). "
This commitment of hope comes from imitation of Jesus. Referring to the Gospel Francis recalled that "Jesus is shaken by the dramatic mystery of the loss of a loved one:" He is deeply moved "and was" very troubled "(Jn 11,33 ). Then "burst into tears" (v. 35) and came to the tomb, the Gospel says, "once more deeply moved" (see 38). This is the heart of God: Far from evil, but near to those who suffer; he does not make evil disappear magically, but with suffers-with the suffering, he takes it on himself, and transforms it by living it". And together, "Jesus was not carried away by anxiety": "He did not allow himself to be swept up by the emotional resignation around him, but prayed with confidence and said," Father, I thank you "(v. 41). Thus, in the mystery of suffering, before which thought and progress crash like flies against glass, Jesus gives us an example of how to behave: Do not flee from suffering, which belongs to this life, but neither be prisoners to pessimism".
Before the Mass, in Carpi cathedral, the Pope met with the bishops of the region. The Holy See Press Office emphasised that the Pope also met with the bishop emeritus of Bologna, Cardinal Carlo Caffarra, with whom he spoke (see 2 photos). Card. Caffara is one of the four cardinal who wrote to the Pope about their "dubia" (doubts) regarding the interpretation of the apostolic exhortation "Amoris Laetitia" to which the Pope has never apparently responded directly. Immediately after the pope offered a floral tribute to Our Lady of the Cathedral (photo 3).
Before the conclusion of the Eucharistic celebration, Francis recalled some worrying situations in the world: the avalanche in Mocoa (Colombia) on the night between March 31 and April 1 which resulted in the deaths of nearly 200 people; clashes in the Kasai region (DRC) that "cause casualties and displacement". The Pope invited all to pray that "the authors of such crimes do not remain slaves of hatred and violence."
He also cited the very tense situation in Venezuela and Paraguay, where there are signs of civil war. Addressing "those people, very dear to me," the pope invited all "to persevere tirelessly, avoiding any violence and search for political solutions".