A Catholic Monthly Magazine

Francis Speaks

The Most Holy Trinity

From the Pope’s homily on Trinity Sunday 2019. He was visiting the town of Camerino, Italy, which had been wrecked in an earthquake in 2016:

Today we celebrate the Holy Trinity. The Trinity is not a theological puzzle, but the splendid mystery of God’s closeness. The Trinity tells us that we do not have a lonely God up there in heaven, distant and indifferent; no, he is the Father who gave us his Son, made man like us, and who sends us his own Spirit to be even closer to us, to help us carry the burdens of life. He, who is the Spirit, comes into our spirit and thus consoles us from within, brings God’s tenderness within us. With God the burdens of life do not remain on our shoulders: the Spirit, whom we name every time we make the sign of the cross just as we touch our shoulders, comes to give us strength, to encourage us, to support the weights we carry. In fact, he is a specialist in resurrecting, in raising, in rebuilding. It takes more strength to repair than to build, to start again than to start, to be reconciled than to get along. This is the strength that God gives us. Therefore, those who approach God do not break down, they go on. They suffer, they start again, try again, rebuild.

Source: TotusTuus

During the pandemic, be certain that God who sustains you will console you

From the Pope’s homily on Palm Sunday, 5 April 2020:

Jesus “emptied himself, taking the form of a servant” (Philippians 2:7). In these holy days the word of God, like a refrain, presents Jesus as servant: on Holy Thursday, he is portrayed as the servant who washes the feet of his disciples; on Good Friday, he is presented as the suffering and victorious servant (cf. Isaiah 52:13). God saved us by serving us.

But how did the Lord serve us? By giving his life for us. We are dear to him and we cost him dearly. Saint Angela of Foligno said she once heard Jesus say: “My love for you is no joke”. His love for us led him to sacrifice himself and to take upon himself our sins. This astonishes us. God saved us by taking upon himself all the punishment of our sins. Without complaining, but with the humility, patience and obedience of a servant, and purely out of love. And the Father upheld Jesus in his service. He did not take away the evil that crushed him, but rather strengthened him in his suffering so that our evil could be overcome by good, by a love that loves to the very end.

Why did all this take place? It was done for our sake, to serve us. So that when we have our back to the wall, when we find ourselves at a dead end, with no light and no way of escape, when it seems that God himself is not responding, we should remember that we are not alone. Jesus experienced total abandonment, in a situation he had never before experienced, in order to be one with us in everything. He did it for me, for you, to say to us, “Do not be afraid, you are not alone. I experienced all your desolation in order to be ever close to you”. That is the extent to which Jesus served us: he descended into the abyss of our most bitter sufferings, culminating in betrayal and abandonment. Today, in the tragedy of a pandemic, in the face of the many false securities that have now crumbled, in the face of so many hopes betrayed, in the sense of abandonment that weighs upon our hearts, Jesus says to each one of us: “Courage, open your heart to my love. You will feel the consolation of God who sustains you”.

What can we do in comparison with God, who served us to the point of death? We were put in this world to love him and our neighbours. Everything else passes away, only this remains. The tragedy we are experiencing summons us to take seriously the things that are serious, and not to be caught up in those that matter less; to rediscover that life is of no use if not used to serve others. For life is measured by love. So, before the God who serves us to the point of giving his life, let us ask for the grace to live in order to serve. May we reach out to those who are suffering and those most in need. May we not be concerned about what we lack, but what good we can do for others.

Loving, praying, forgiving, caring for others, in the family and in society -- all this can certainly be difficult. But do not be afraid to devote your life to God and to others; it pays! For life is a gift we receive only when we give ourselves away, and our deepest joy comes from saying ‘yes’ to love, without ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’. As Jesus did for us.

Source: Zenit

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