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Joy in forbearance

Tuesday, 7 May 2013


(by L'Osservatore Romano, Weekly ed. in English, n. 20, 15 May 2013)


Joy and the strength of Christian patience make people younger and help them to accept trials and to live patiently through the difficulties of life. Pope Francis recalled this in the Homily of the Mass celebrated on Tuesday morning, 7 May, in the Chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae. Among those who participated were the second group of staff from the Fabric of St Peter's and of the Treasury Museum of St Peter's Basilica.

Among the concelebrants were Cardinal Angelo Comastri and Cardinal Jorge María Mejía; Archbishop Carlos Aguiar Retes of Tlalnepantla, Mexico, and President of CELAM, with Auxiliary: Bishop Efraín Mendoza Cruz; Bishop Vittorio Lanzani, Delegate of the Fabric of St Peter's; Bishop Francisco Javier Chavolla Ramos of Toluca, Mexico; and Bishop Juan José Omella Omella of Calahorra y La Calzada– Logroño, Spain.

The day's Readings — from the Acts of the Apostles (16:22-24) and from the Gospel of John (16:5-11) — afforded the Pope the occasion to present once again the spirit of endurance witnessed by the early Christian Martyrs. On this subject, the Holy Father reminded the faithful of the testimony given by Paul and Silas in prison, who remained in prayer and sang hymns to God.

The Pontiff presented the exemplary witness of the martyrs who “were joyous while giving witness to Jesus. I am thinking, for example, of the martyrs of Nagasaki Hill: Each one helped the other, they strengthened each other and spoke of Jesus as they awaited the moment of death; and it is said of some Roman martyrs that they set off for their martyrdom as if going to a wedding-banquet”. Yet, he warned, this doesn't mean to take on a masochistic attitude: it means simply “placing oneself on the path of Jesus”, who was the first to embrace this dimension of patience, undergoing his own Passion.

Nevertheless, this does not signify a sad silence, just as Jesus' silence was not sad when he suffered on the Cross: “It is painful, and often it is very sorrowful, but it is not sad”, for the heart is at peace.

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