03/19/2020, 10.28
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Pope: prisoners suffer from uncertainty about the future and concern for their loved ones

Francis invites us to pray for prisoners who are suffering particularly in this epidemic. Joseph, "a 'just man', that is, a man of faith". "Our faithful, our bishops, our priests, our consecrated men and women, the popes: are they capable of entering into mystery?". Invitation to spiritual communion.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - A prayer for prisoners - who suffer from the uncertainty of the future and concern for their loved ones - and an invitation to spiritual communion, given the impossibility of going to mass, marked Mass today celebrated by Pope Francis at Casa Santa Marta, on the seventh anniversary of the beginning of his Petrine ministry.

In introducing the Mass, Francis prayed for those detained in this moment of emergency. “We pray today for our brothers and sisters who are in prison”, he said. “They suffer a lot”, he continued, “because of the uncertainty of what's happening inside the prison. They are also thinking of their families and how they are doing, some of them are sick, wondering if they need anything. Let’s be near those in prison today. They are suffering a lot during this uncertain and painful moment”.

His homily focused on the saint whose Solemnity the Church celebrates today: St Joseph. Pope Francis began his homily characterizing Joseph as a “just man”. He was “just” not only because he believed, but because he lived “that faith”, the Pope said.

The Pope’s words about Joseph’s vocation were truly touching:“He was chosen to educate a man who was true man, but who was also God. Only God could have educated such a person, but there wasn't someone like that. The Lord chose a just man, a man of faith, a man who was capable of being a man, and also capable of speaking with God, of entering into God's mystery. This was Joseph life.”

The Pope reminded us how Joseph was a very precise man. In his profession as a carpenter, he was so precise that he could shave wood, or adjust an angle within a millimeter of perfection. Pope Francis said that he “entered into the mystery” with the same precision and naturalness with which he approached his carpentry.

“He was precise, but also able to enter into the mystery that he could not control. This is Joseph’s holiness.”

Even when the “Gospel talks about Joseph’s dreams” it makes us “understand that he had entered into the mystery”, Pope Francis added.

The Pope’s thoughts then turned to the Church of which St Joseph is the Patron. Are the members of the Church, including Popes, “capable of entering into the mystery?” he asked. 

"Are they capable of entering into the mystery, or do they need to be in control through rules and regulations which defend them against what they cannot control? When the Church loses the possibility of entering into the mystery, she loses the ability to adore. …Adoration happens only when one enters into God's mystery”.

The Pope said that without entering into the mystery, there is only “half a Church, a pious association that operates with rules and regulations”. “Let's ask the Lord for this grace”, Pope Francis prayed at the conclusion of his homily. “May the Church live in the concreteness of everyday life and also in that ‘concreteness’ of the mystery. Entering into the mystery is not about dreaming. Entering into the mystery is precisely this: to adore. Entering into the mystery is doing today what we will do in the future. When we will have arrived in God's presence: adore. May the Lord grant His Church this grace.”

Before concluding the mass, the Pope urged spiritual communion in this difficult time for the coronavirus pandemic, which has caused a suspension of Mass with the participation of the faithful in Italy to avoid any contagion.

"All those who are far away - he said - and follow the Mass on television, I invite you to spiritual communion: At your feet, O my Jesus, I bow down and offer you the repentance of my contrite heart that lowers itself in its nothingness and in Your holy presence. I adore you in the Sacrament of Your love, I wish to receive you in the poor abode that my heart offers you. In anticipation of the happiness of sacramental communion, I want to possess you in Spirit. Come to me, O my Jesus, that I may come to you. May Your love inflame my whole being, for life and death. I believe in you, I hope in you, I love you. So be it".

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