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St. Peter’s Basilica
Palm Sunday, 28 March 2021



Dear brothers and sisters,

We have begun Holy Week. For the second time we will live it within the context of the pandemic. Last year we were more shocked; this year we are more sorely tried. And the economic crisis has become severe.

In this historical and social situation, what is God doing? He takes up the cross. Jesus takes up the cross, that is, he takes on the evil that this situation entails, the physical and psychological evil — and above all the spiritual evil — because the evil one takes advantage of the crisis to sow distrust, despair, and discord.

And we? What should we do? The Virgin Mary, Jesus’ Mother, who is also his first disciple, shows us. She followed her Son. She took upon herself her own portion of suffering, of darkness, of confusion, and she walked the way of the passion, keeping the lamp of faith lit in her heart. With God’s grace, we too can make this journey. And, along the daily way of the cross, we meet the faces of so many brothers and sisters in difficulty: let us not pass them by, let us allow our hearts to be moved with compassion, and let us draw near. At first, like the Cyrenian, we might think: “Why me?”. But then we will discover the gift that we have received, without our own merit.

Let us pray for all the victims of violence, in particular for the victims of this morning’s attack in Indonesia, in front of the Cathedral of Makassar.

May Our Lady, who always precedes us on the path of faith, help us.

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