from the Catholic News Agency, Vatican City, May 8, 2020.- We must learn to let ourselves be consoled by Jesus when we are suffering, Pope Francis said at his morning Mass Friday.
In his homily in the chapel at Casa Santa Marta, May 8, the pope noted it was difficult to accept Christ’s consolation in times of distress.
Reflecting on the day's Gospel reading, John 14:1-6, which records Jesus’ words to his disciples at the Last Supper, the pope said the Lord recognizes their sadness and seeks to console them.
"It is not easy to allow ourselves to be consoled by the Lord,” he said. “Many times, in bad moments, we are angry with the Lord and we do not let Him come and speak to us like this, with this sweetness, with this closeness, with this meekness, with this truth and with this hope.”
He noted that Jesus’ way of consoling was quite different to telegrams of condolence, which are too formal to console anyone.
“In this passage of the Gospel we see that the Lord consoles us always in closeness, with the truth and in hope,” he said. “These are the three marks of the Lord's consolation.”
The pope observed that Jesus is always close to us in times of sorrow.
“The Lord consoles in closeness. And He does not use empty words, on the contrary: He prefers silence,” he said, according to a transcript by Vatican News.
He added that Jesus does not offer false comfort:
“Jesus is true. He doesn't say formal things that are lies: ‘No, don’t worry, everything will pass, nothing will happen, it will pass, things will pass…’ No, it won’t. He is telling the truth. He doesn’t hide the truth.”
The pope explained that Jesus’ consolation always brings hope.
He said: “He will come and take us by the hand and carry us. He does not say: ‘No, you will not suffer: it is nothing…’ No. He says the truth: ‘I am close to you, this is the truth: it is a bad time, of danger, of death. But do not let your heart be troubled, remain in that peace, that peace which is the basis of all consolation, because I will come and by the hand I will take you where I will be’.”
The pope concluded: “We ask for the grace to learn to let ourselves be consoled by the Lord. The Lord's consolation is true, not deceiving. It is not anesthesia, no. But it is near, it is true and it opens the doors of hope to us.”
After Mass, the pope presided at adoration and benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, before leading those watching via livestream in an act of spiritual communion.
The congregation then sang the Easter Marian antiphon “Regina caeli.”
At the start of Mass, the pope noted that World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day falls on May 8, the anniversary of the birth of Henry Dunant, founder of the International Committee of the Red Cross.
Pope Francis said: “We pray for the people who work in these worthy institutions: may the Lord bless their work which does so much good.”