Palm Sunday: Pope Calls for Humility, Warns Against Worldliness

Also Reflects on World Youth Day, Entrusts Flight Victims to Mary’s Care

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Exactly one week before Easter Sunday, Pope Francis has reminded the faithful that they must follow God’s humble example.

During his Palm Sunday homily this morning, the Pope told the crowds in a sunny St. Peter’s Square, that even when it involves facing humiliation, we are to not let this deter us from having humility.

«There is another way,» Francis pointed out, «However, it is opposed to the way of Christ. It is worldliness, the way of the world.»

«The world,» he said, «proposes the way of vanity, pride, success… ‘the other way.’

The Argentine Pontiff again referred to the Devil, noting how the Evil One proposed this worldly way to Jesus during his 40 days in the desert and how the Lord immediately rejected it.

«With the Lord,» Francis said, «we too can overcome this temptation, not only at significant moments, but in daily life as well.» 

Humility is God’s way and the way for all Christians, he underscored.

«It is a way which constantly amazes and disturbs us: we will never get used to a humble God!»

Francis reminded the thousands gathered that God humbled himself to walk with His people, «to put up with their infidelity.» He also recalled how, in the Book of Exodus, the people grumbled and complained against Moses who ultimately led them out of slavery to freedom.

Only if during Holy Week we take on Jesus’ humiliation ourselves, Francis said, «will this week be ‘holy’ for us too!»

Recalling how despite the betrayal and ridicule Jesus faced, even by his Apostles, Christ accepts it, Francis said, noting today’s faithful should follow Jesus’ example of serving others.

«In this, we are helped and comforted by the example of so many men and women who, in silence and hiddenness, sacrifice themselves daily to serve others: a sick relative, an elderly person living alone, a disabled person, someone homeless.»

Francis also called on those gathered to think of those persecuted for their faith, «the martyrs of our own time. They refuse to deny Jesus and they endure insult and injury with dignity.»

The Holy Father called on faithful to «set about with determination along this same path,» as Jesus did. «Love will guide us and give us strength,» the Holy Father concluded. «For where he is, we too shall be.»


At the end of the celebration, the Pope recognized that today is World Youth Day, giving a special greeting to the young people gathered.

«Dear young people, I urge you to continue your journey both in your dioceses and in your pilgrimage across the continents, which will carry you all next year to Krakow, the homeland of St. John Paul II, who first initiated the World Youth Days.»

The theme of the 2016 WYD in Poland ‘Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy,’ he said, fits in well with the Holy Year of Mercy.

«Let yourselves be filled by the tenderness of the Father, so you can spread it around you!» he rejoiced.

Francis called upon the faithful to turn to Mary to live this Holy Week with great faith.

Reflecting on Tuesday’s tragic event, Pope Francis entrusted to the Blessed Mother’s intercession the victims of the Germanwings plane crash, and noted, how among those killed, were German students.


On ZENIT’s Web page:

Homily Text:–2

Angelus Translation:–4

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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, often from the Papal Flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has also asked him questions on the return-flight press conference on behalf of the English-speaking press present. Lubov has done much TV & radio commentary, including for NBC, Sky, EWTN, BBC, Vatican Radio, AP, Reuters and more. She also has contributed to various books on the Pope and has written for various Catholic publications. For 'The Other Francis': or

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