On Saturday, Pope Francis celebrated a Mass at the Roman Parish of Ognissanti (All Saints) to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first Mass celebrated in Italian.
In 1965, Blessed Paul VI celebrated the first Mass in the common vernacular in that same parish in Rome.
The Holy Father began his homily recalling the Gospel passage that recounts Christ sending away the money changers from the Temple. “Do not make of My Father’s house a marketplace,” Jesus says in John’s Gospel.
Jesus’ actions, the Holy Father noted was an act of “cleansing” and purification not just physically, but also from a type of religiosity.
“This gesture is a call to authentic worship, to the correspondence between liturgy and life; a call that is true for every age and even for us today,” he said.
Referring to the Vatican II’s constitution, Sacrosanctum Concilium, the Pope stressed the need to reaffirm the link between the discipleship of Jesus and liturgical worship.
“It is not primarily a doctrine to understand, or a rite to fulfill; it is naturally this but in another way; it is essentially different: it is a spring of life and light for our path of faith,” he said.
The Holy Father went on to say that the Church calls on the faithful to promote an authentic liturgical life, so that there be a harmony between what is celebrated in the liturgy and “what we live in our existence.”
“It is about expressing in life what we have celebrated here,” he said.
“A disciple of Jesus does not go to Church to just observe a precept, to feel alright with a God that does not “disturb” too much.”
This is the attitude of many Catholics, many. The disciple of Jesus goes to Church to meet with the Lord and find in His Grace, working in the Sacraments, the strength to think and act according to the Gospel.”
The 78 year old Pontiff went on to say that the Liturgical celebrations are a privileged environment to listen to the Lord’s voice, who leads the faithful to the path of righteousness and Christian perfection.
Conclduing his homily, Pope Francis reflected on the anniversary of Blessed Paul VI’s First Mass in the common vernacular, expressing his hope that the event revives a “love for the house of God” in the faithful.
“There you can experience, any time you wish, the regenerating power of personal prayer and communal prayer,” he said.