MORNING MASS IN THE CHAPEL OF THE
DOMUS SANCTAE MARTHAE
HOMILY OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS
"Living in the tangibility of daily life and of mystery"
Solemnity of St. Joseph
Thursday, 19 March 2020
Today let us pray for our brothers and sisters who are in prison. They suffer a lot because of the uncertainty of what is 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 us be near those in prison today. They are suffering a lot during this uncertain and painful moment.
The Gospel (Mt 1:16, 18-21,24) tells us that Joseph was a “just man”, that is, a man of faith, who lived the faith. A man who could be included in the list of all those people of faith we remembered today in the Office of Readings (cf. Hb 11); those people who lived faith as the “foundation of what one hopes, as a guarantee of what cannot be seen, and the proof that cannot be seen”. Joseph was a man of faith: for this reason he was “just”. Not only because he believed but also because he lived this faith. He was a “just” man. 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’s life: living his profession, his life as a man and entering into the mystery. A man capable of dialoguing with mystery, of interacting with the mystery of God. He was not a dreamer. He entered into the mystery with the same naturalness with which he pursued his craft, with the precision of his craft. He was able to adjust a wooden angle within a millimetre, he knew how to do it. He was able to sand down, to reduce a wooden surface by a millimetre. He was precise, but also able to enter into the mystery that he could not control.
This was the Joseph’s holiness: justly and professionally pursuing his life, his , and at the right moment, entering into the mystery. When the Gospel talks about Joseph’s dreams, it enables us to understand this: he enters into the mystery.
I think of the Church, today, on this Solemnity of Saint Joseph. The members of the faithful, our bishops, our priests, our consecrated men and women, popes: 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. The prayer of adoration happens only when one enters into God's mystery. Let us ask the Lord for the grace that the Church may live in the concreteness of everyday life and also in that “concreteness” of the mystery. If she cannot do so, she will be just half a Church, a pious association, going ahead by prescriptions but without a sense of adoration. 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.
Prayer for Spiritual Communion
I invite all those who are far away and follow the Mass by television to make a spiritual communion.
At Your feet, O my Jesus, I prostrate myself and I offer You repentance of my contrite heart, which is humbled in its nothingness and in Your holy presence. I adore You in the Sacrament of Your love, the ineffable Eucharist. I desire to receive You into the poor dwelling that my heart offers You. While waiting for the happiness of sacramental communion, I wish to possess You in spirit. Come to me, O my Jesus, since I, for my part, am coming to You! May Your love embrace my whole being in life and in death. I believe in You, I hope in You, I love You. Amen.
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