MORNING MASS IN THE CHAPEL OF THE
DOMUS SANCTAE MARTHAE
HOMILY OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS
"The Holy Spirit reminds us how to access the Father"
Sunday, 17 May 2020
Today our prayer is for the many persons who clean hospitals, streets, empty trash from the dumpsters, who go to each house to remove trash: work that no one sees, but it is a job that is necessary to survive. May the Lord bless them and help them.
As He says farewell to His disciples (see Jn 14:15-21), Jesus gives them tranquility, He gives peace, with a promise: “I will not leave you orphans” (v. 18). He defends them from that pain, from that painful feeling of being orphans. In today’s world, there is a great sense of being orphaned: many people have many things, but they lack the Father. And in the history of humanity, this has repeated itself: when the Father is missing, something is lacking and there is always the desire to meet, to rediscover the Father, even in the ancient myths. We can think of the myth of Oedipus, or Telemachus, and many others: always in search of the Father who is missing. Today we can say that we live in a society where the Father is missing, a sense of being orphaned that specifically affects belonging and fraternity.
And so Jesus promises: “I will ask the Father and He will give you another Paraclete” (v. 16). Jesus says, “I am going away, but someone else will come who will teach you how to access the Father. He will remind you how to access the Father”. The Holy Spirit does not come to “make us His clients”; He comes to point out how to access the Father, to remind us how to access the Father. That is what Jesus opened, what Jesus showed us. A spirituality of the Son alone or the Holy Spirit alone does not exist: the center is the Father. The Son is sent by the Father and returns to the Father. The Holy Spirit is sent by the Father to remind us and to teach us how to access the Father.
Only with this awareness of being children, that we are not orphans, can we live in peace among ourselves. Wars, either small ones or large ones, always have a dimension of being orphans: the Father who makes peace is missing. And so when Peter and the first community respond to the people regarding why they are Christians (see 1 Pt 3:15-18), it says: “do it with gentleness and reverence, keeping your conscience clear” (v. 16), that is, the gentleness that the Holy Spirit gives. The Holy Spirit teaches us this gentleness, this tenderness of the Father’s children. The Holy Spirit does not teach us to insult. And one of the consequences of this feeling like orphans is insulting, wars, because if there is no Father, there are no brothers, fraternity is lost. They are – this tenderness, reverence, gentleness – they are attitudes of belonging, of belonging to a family that is certain of having a Father.
“I will pray to the Father and He will send you another Paraclete” (Jn 14:16) who will remind you how to access the Father, He will remind you that we have a Father who is the center of everything, the origin of everything, the one who unites everyone, the salvation of everyone because He sent His Son to save everyone. And now He sends the Holy Spirit to remind us how to access Him, of the Father, of this paternity, of this fraternal attitude of gentleness, tenderness, and peace.
Let us ask the Holy Spirit to remind us always, always about this access to the Father, that He might remind us that we have a Father. And to this civilization, with this great feeling of being orphaned, may He grant the grace of rediscovering the Father, the Father who gives meaning to all of life, and that He might unite humanity into one family.
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