Pope Francis surprised a group of pilgrims and priests this morning by celebrating Mass in St Peter’s Basilica, at the St Sebastian Chapel where Blessed Pope John Paul II is buried.
Every Thursday morning, a group of Polish worshippers takes part in a Mass celebrated in the St Sebastian Chapel. This week, the Mass was celebrated by Pope Francis himself, as Vatican Radio reported.
In his homily, the Pope focused on the love of God, and on two images illustrating the two different ways in which this love might be received.
On the one hand, he said, we have the certainty shown by the Apostle Paul: “No one can separate me from the love of Christ.” Paul lived through persecution, through illness, through betrayal, but the love of Christ was always at the centre of his life. On the other hand, Pope Francis continued, we have the sadness of Jesus as he looks upon Jerusalem, the unfaithful. And the heart of Jesus wept for this city that didn’t understand the love of God, for this love that was not received.
Pope Francis contrasted the two images: Paul, who feels he is a sinner, but finds strength in the love of God, and Jerusalem, with its people who don’t accept the love of God, or worse, who half accept it, depending on their own convenience.
So let us ask ourselves, Pope Francis concluded – do I have a strong love, like Paul, or do I have a tepid heart, like Jerusalem?