On Saturday, Pope Francis celebrated his daily Mass in Saint Martha’s residence. At the end of the celebration, he greeted 11 Argentine journalists and their families, all residents in Rome, as correspondents of local newspaper offices , among them ANSA, Clarin, CNN, La Nacion, La7, Notimex and ZENIT.
Also in attendance was the Argentine ambassador to the Holy See, Juan Pablo Cafiero and his wife. Father Antonio Pelayo, correspondent of an Argentine publication and former director of the Foreign Press Association of Italy, concelebrated with the Holy Father.
Journalist Cristina Tacchini of ANSA gave the Pope a poncho from his native Argentina. The children of correspondent Elisabetta Pique showed the Pontiff drawings they made of his person, which accentuated the Pope’s affection. In fact, the presence of journalists’ children was also felt during the Mass, when at the beginning of Mass a little girl stammered “Francis, Francis.”
After greeting the journalists and their families, and saying a few words to them, the Pontiff kept repeating: “Pray for me.”
Pope Francis was also given a book of photographs of northern Italy, where his parents came from, a letter asking for prayers for Uruguayan Father Mauricio Silva, who disappeared in 1977, and a list of sick people in need of prayers. He was also given a huge soccer boot with the signatures of Brazilian players.
In his homily, always serene and conversational, Francis invited those attending to come out of themselves, and to do so by remembering Jesus’ wounds and by recognizing them in needy brothers, the sick, the ignorant, the poor and the exploited.
He quoted the Gospel of the day that invites to “pray to the Father in Jesus’ name.” He said that the prayer that may sometimes bore us “is always inside us, as a thought that comes and goes.” “True prayer,” he said, “is to go out to the Father in the name of Jesus, an exodus from ourselves,” which occurs “with the intercession of Jesus who shows His wounds to the Father. “
The Holy Father added that of all the lacerations that Jesus suffered in the Passion, He only took his wounds with Him. “Which is the school where one learns to know Jesus’ wounds, His priestly wounds of intercession?” He answered indicating: “If we do not come out of ourselves and go to those wounds, we will never learn the freedom that takes us to the other exit from ourselves.”
Because there are two ways to go out. “The first to Jesus’ wounds and the second to the wounds of our brothers and sisters.” Words that are confirmed in John’s Gospel. “Truly, truly I say to you, that whatever you ask the Father in my name, He will give to you.”
“The door is open: in going to the Father, Jesus left the door open. Not because He “forgot to close it” but because “He Himself is the door.”
Pope Francis asked for prayer “with the courage of the one who makes us know that Jesus is before the Father,” and with the “humility to recognize and see the wounds of Jesus in needy brothers.”
“May the Lord give us the freedom to enter into the sanctuary where He is priest and intercedes for us, and what we ask the Father in His name, will be given to us. But we also pray that He will give us the courage to go to that other sanctuary, which are the wounds of our needy brothers and sisters, who suffer, who carry the cross and who have yet to conquer, as Jesus conquered,” concluded the Pope.