Pope's Morning Homily: Reflect on Your Last Goodbye

Remembers Flight of Persecuted Christians and Religious Minorities During Mass at Casa Santa Marta

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In his homily at Casa Santa Marta this morning, Pope Francis remembered those forced to say ‘goodbye’ to their lives and homes, particularly Christians and religious minorities persecuted for the faith.

According to Vatican Radio, the Holy Father reflected on today’s readings, which recall the final goodbyes made by both Paul and Jesus.

«Jesus takes his leave, Paul takes his leave and this helps us to reflect on when we take our leave,» he said.  

«In our life there are many goodbyes, great and small and there is also much suffering, so many tears in some them.»

The Pope remembered the Christian and Muslim minorities in Rohingya, Myanmar. Many have been forced to flee in the Buddhist majority country due to persecution by the government.

«In the moment that they left their land to flee persecution they did not know what would happen to them,» he said. «For months, they were in a boat, there…They arrived in a city, where they were given water, food, and then told: ‘Get out of here.’ It is a goodbye.»

The 78 year old Pontiff also recalled the persecution of Christians and Yazidis in the Middle East who have been forced to flee following attacks by the so-called ‘Islamic State’.  

The Last Goodbye

Continuing his homily, Pope Francis told those present that in life there are both small and great goodbyes. One example, is «of a mother who says goodbye, gives her final hug to her son who is going to war; and wakes up every morning with feat that someone will come and say: ‘Thank you for the generosity of your son who gave his life for his homeland.'»

Today’s readings – he noted – are two goodbyes in which Paul entrusts to God his followers and Jesus entrusts to God his disciples who remain in the world.

«Entrust to the Father, to entrust to God: this is the origin of the word ‘goodbye’. We say ‘goodbye’ only in those great departures, be it those in life, or the last one,» he said.

The Jesuit Pope went onto say that both readings call us to think of our departure from this world.

«When will it be, we don’t know, but the time will come for us in which ‘see you later’, ‘see you soon’, ‘until tomorrow’, ‘see you again’ becomes ‘goodbye,'» he said. «Am I prepared to entrust myself to God?  To say that word that is the word of entrusting from the son to the Father.»

Concluding his homily, Pope Francis called on the faithful to contemplate on their final goodbye from this earth.»

«May Jesus, dead and risen – send us the Holy Spirit so that we may learn that word, that we may learn to say it, but existentially, with all our strength: the last word: ‘goodbye.'»

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Junno Arocho Esteves

Newark, New Jersey, USA Bachelor of Science degree in Diplomacy and International Relations.

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