Holy Week is time to bring Christ
to forgotten, Pope teachesPope
Francis holds his first general audience on March 27, 2013 in St. Peter's
Square. Credit: Stephen Driscoll/EWTN News.Vatican City, (EWTN News/CNA):
Francis said Holy Week is a time for moving beyond a “dull or mechanical” way of
living the faith and to bring the joy of Christ to those who are most distant or
“Holy Week is not so much a time of sorrow, but rather a time to
enter into Christ’s way of thinking and acting,” Pope Francis said March 27 at
his first general audience.
“It is a time of grace given us by the Lord
so that we can move beyond a dull or mechanical way of living our faith, and
instead open the doors of our hearts, our lives, our parishes, our movements or
associations, going out in search of others so as to bring them the light and
the joy of our faith in Christ,” he told the thousands of pilgrims.
explained that this means helping those “especially those furthest away,
forgotten, those in need of understanding, consolation and help.”
Catholics are observing Holy Week this week, Pope Francis said that after Easter
he would resume the “witness” he received from his “beloved predecessor Benedict
XVI,” referring to the series of teachings for the Year of Faith.
Argentinian Pope addressed pilgrims only in Italian, unlike Benedict XVI and
John Paul II. However, a summary of his remarks was delivered in French,
English, German, Spanish, Polish, Portuguese and Arabic by different
“It’s so necessary to carry Jesus’ living presence, who is
merciful and full of life,” to others, said the Pope.
“Living Holy Week
is always entering further into God’s logic, into the logic of the cross, which
isn’t firstly about pain and death but about love and self-giving, which gives
life,” he added.
The Pope explained that coming out of one’s self means
“entering the logic of the Gospel, following Jesus Christ and staying with
“I hope that you all might live these days by courageously
following the Lord, carrying within you a ray of his love to all the people you
meet,” said the Pope as he reflected on Holy Week.
We too, if we want to
stay with him, “should not simply remain in our own secure world, that of the
ninety-nine sheep who never strayed from the fold, but we should go out, with
Christ, in search of the one lost sheep, however far it may have wandered,” he
challenged the crowd.
“People tell me that they don’t have time and that
it’s hard. And (they say) what can I do with my weakness and my
Pope Francis pointed out that when we lack the courage to carry
Christ to others, we are a little like Saint Peter, to whom Jesus spoke some of
the harshest words in the Gospels: ‘get behind me, Satan, because you don’t
think according to God but according to men.’
“God thinks always with
mercy, don’t forget this,” said the Pope.
“He thinks like the father who
waits the return of his son and would watch every day to see if his son would
return home,” he said. “This is our merciful God.”
According to the Pope,
God also thinks like the Samaritan who doesn’t look away from the man in need,
but helps him without asking for anything in return or asking whether he is
Hebrew, pagan, Samaritan, rich or poor.
“He doesn’t ask these things and
he doesn’t ask for anything, he just goes to his help,” underscored Pope
“We come out of ourselves with love, with God’s tenderness, with
respect and patience knowing that we put our feet, our hands and our hearts into
it, but it’s God who ultimately guides all of our actions,” he