“What is Jesus saying to me today?” That was the question Pope Francis invited the faithful to ask themselves, on celebrating Mass in the Roman parish of Saint Gelasius I, Pope, in the afternoon of Sunday, February 25, 2018.
In his homily, the Pope reflected on the Gospel of the Transfiguration, which prepared the disciples for the “scandal of the cross,” showing them that He would be in glory after the Passion. The disciples imagined a “triumphant” Messiah, but “Jesus triumphed by humiliation, by the humiliation of the cross,” stressed the Pontiff.
God “always prepares us, in one way or another, for trials. He “gives us the strength to go through moments of trial and overcome them,” affirmed the Holy Father. “Jesus doesn’t leave us alone in the trials of life . . . never.”
Francis noted that in the Gospel the Father urges to “Listen to Him.” “There is not a moment in life that one can live fully without “listening to Jesus,” both in beautiful as well as in hard moments,” he stressed. “Jesus speaks to us in the Gospel, in the Liturgy . . . or in our heart. Ask yourselves in daily life, “What is Jesus saying to me today? . . . He tells us what we must do — always.”
On his arrival at the parish, the Pope met with children and young people, as well as their families, in the sports area decorated with hundreds of white and yellow balloons, the colours of the Vatican. Joking about the rainy weather, he added: “Life is somewhat like this afternoon, because at times there is sun, but at others clouds, rain and bad weather arrive.”
“What must a Christian do?” he asked. He must continue with courage, in good times and bad times. However, there will be storms in life . . . go on! Jesus leads us.” The Pontiff left this recommendation to the children and the young people: “Always take Jesus’ hand.”
Embers under the Ashes
The Holy Father then met with the elderly and the sick in the parish’s theater: he greeted them one by one and exchanged words with them. “I would like to thank you for what you do for the world and for what you do for the Church,” he said.
“One might ask oneself the question: “But what do I do for the world? I don’t go to the United Nations, I don’t go to meetings . . . I’m here, at home,” continued the Pope. And he encouraged them to be “embers.” “Your are the embers, the embers of the world under the ashes. Under difficulties, under wars, there are these embers, embers of faith, embers of hope, embers of hidden joy. Please, protect the embers, those that you have in your heart, by your witness.”
Despite the present problems and those to come, it’s about “being conscious that one has a mission, in the world and in the Church: to make that hidden fire live, the fire of a life.”
Before the Mass, the Pope met in private with poor persons supported by the local Caritas, as well as two young Gambians, one 18 the other 25, received by the parish, and he heard the Confession of some faithful in the sacristy.