Here is a ZENIT translation of the homily Pope Francis gave off-the-cuff today when he opened a Holy Door and celebrated Mass at a Caritas center for the homeless at Rome’s Termini Station.
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God comes to save us. He doesn’t find a better way to do so than walking with us, living our life, and at the moment of choosing the way to live life He didn’t choose a great city of a great empire; He didn’t choose a princess, a countess for His Mother, an important person; He didn’t choose a luxurious palace. It seems as if everything was done intentionally, almost in a hidden way. Mary a girl of 16-17, not older, in a lost village on the fringe of the Roman Empire, which no one surely knew that village. Joseph, a youth who loved her and wanted to marry her; a carpenter who earned the bread, all in simplicity, in a hidden way. And also in the rejection, because they were engaged and in such a small village you know how gossip is. They go around … And Joseph realizes that she is pregnant, but he was a just man. Everything hidden, even with calumny, with gossip. And the Angel explains the mystery to Joseph: “the child that your bride bears is the work of God, work of the Holy Spirit.’ When Joseph awoke from his sleep he did what the Angel of the Lord ordered him. And he went to her and married her. But he did everything in a hidden, humble way. The great cities of the world didn’t know anything …
Thus is God among us. If you want to find God, seek Him in humility, seek Him in poverty, seek Him where He is hidden: in the neediest, in the sick, in the hungry, in the imprisoned. And when Jesus preaches life to us He says: how our Judgment will be. He will not say you come with Me because you made so many good offerings in the Church. The entrance to Heaven is not paid for with money. He won’t say you are very important. You have studied so much and received so many honors. Honors do not open the doors of Heaven.
First: that the Lord open the door of our heart, of everyone. We are all in need. We are all sinners. We are all in need of hearing the Lord’s word and that the Lord’s word come.
Second: that the Lord make us understand that the way of riches, of vanity and of pride are not the ways of salvation. May the Lord make us understand that His caress of Father, His mercy, His forgiveness is when we approach those that suffer, those discarded by society. Jesus is there. This Door is the Door of charity, the Door where so many, so many discarded are assisted … May He make us understand that it will also be good if every one of us, every Roman feels discarded, and that we feel the need of God’s help. Today we pray for Rome, for all the inhabitants of Rome, beginning with me, that the Lord may give us the grace to feel discarded because we have no merit. He alone gives us the grace. And to have this grace we must approach the poor. We will be judged on our coming close to them.
On opening this Door may the Lord give that grace to every inhabitant of Rome. Embrace of the Father to the wounded Son but where the wounded one is the Father. The Lord is wounded of love. May He give us all this grace to embrace one another.
[Transcription and translation by ZENIT]