The unborn, migrants, the elderly and the disabled are “living icons” of Jesus that call Christians to draw close to those who feel abandoned, just as Christ did on the cross, Pope Francis said on Palm Sunday. Source: CNS.
The Pope delivered his homily for Palm Sunday Mass in St Peter’s Square just one day after being released from hospital.
In the homily, the Pope reflected on the phrase Jesus uttered on the cross in St Matthew’s Gospel, and which echoed through the square when sung in the responsorial psalm: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
“Christ, in his abandonment, stirs us to seek him and to love him and those who are themselves abandoned, for in them we see not only people in need, but Jesus himself,” he said.
According to the Vatican gendarmes, some 60,000 people were present in St Peter’s Square for the Mass.
Fighting off coughs as he began his homily but otherwise speaking without difficulty, Pope Francis said that in his Passion, Jesus experienced the distance of God so he could be “completely and definitively one” with humanity.
The Pope was released from the hospital on Saturday after a four-day stay for treatment of bronchitis. He processed into St Peter’s Square on the popemobile wearing his winter coat on an early spring day in Rome.
In his homily, Pope Francis highlighted the many “abandoned Christs” that exist in society: “The poor who live on our streets and that we don’t have the courage to look at, migrants who are no longer faces but numbers.”
He also recalled those who are “discarded with white gloves: unborn children, the elderly left alone, who could be your mum or dad,” as well as the “sick whom no one visits, the disabled who are ignored, and the young burdened by great interior emptiness with no one prepared to listen to their cry of pain and who don’t find another path but suicide”.
After Mass, the Pope prayed the Angelus with the faithful in St Peter’s Square and thanked them for their prayers that “have intensified in the past days.”
“Thank you, truly,” he said.
Pope says be close to those ‘abandoned’ like Christ: unborn, migrants (By Justin McLellan, CNS)
Pope Francis returns home after brief hospital stay (Vatican News)