Pope: We Should Leave Mass Today With a Message

At Regina Caeli, Francis Reflects on the Disciples as Witnesses Returning Unafraid to Jerusalem

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After the Ascension, the disciples returned to Jerusalem unafraid, despite the violence they had witnessed in that city. In the same way, says Pope Francis, Christians can dwell in any city of the world, even the most violent, because above every one of those cities is the same heaven, and there, we can raise our eyes in hope.
The Pope made this reflection today before praying the midday Regina Caeli in St. Peter’s Square. Though at the Vatican, the Ascension was marked on Thursday, the Pontiff dedicated his reflection today to the feast, since it is transferred to Sunday (today) in many parts of the world.
“Our humanity enters for the first time into heaven,” he said. “[…] God is true man and his human body is in heaven, and this is our hope, it is our anchor that is there [in heaven] and we are firmly in this hope if we look toward heaven. In this heaven dwells that God who has revealed himself to be so close that he took a human face, that of Jesus of Nazareth. He remains forever; he is God-with-us.”
Before departing from the disciples, Jesus reminded them of their identity as witnesses of his death and resurrection, the Pope recalled.
“And in fact, after having seen their Lord ascend to heaven, the disciples returned to the city as witnesses who with joy announced to everyone the new life that comes from the Risen Crucified One, in whose name ‘repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations,’” he said.
The Pope stressed that this same testimony — “made not only with words but also with daily life” — should be the testimony that “every Sunday should leave our churches to go during the week into houses, offices, schools, places of meeting and entertainment, into hospitals, prisons, retirement homes, the places packed with immigrants, the peripheries of cities.”
“This is the testimony we have to take every week,” he exhorted: “Christ is with us. Jesus ascended to heaven, he is with us. Christ is alive.”
The power of that testimony is from the Holy Spirit, Francis recalled, saying that it is important to always go back to prayer, to ask for the gift of the Spirit.
“In this week that brings us to the feast of Pentecost,” he invited, “let us stay spiritually in the Upper Rome, together with the Virgin Mary, to receive the Holy Spirit.”

On ZENIT’s Web page:
Full text: https://zenit.org/articles/regina-caeli-full-text-on-the-ascension/

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Kathleen Naab

United States

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