Pope Francis offered the Mass celebrated at Casa Santa Marta this Fifth Sunday of Lent, March 29 for “so many people crying” over the coronavirus epidemic COVID 19 and assured that Jesus would also have cried with all those who are suffering.
“I think of so many people who cry: isolated people, people in quarantine, the elderly alone, people hospitalized and people in therapy, parents who see that, since they do not get paid, they will not feed their children. So many people crying. We too, in our hearts, accompany you. And it will not hurt us to cry a little with the Lord’s tears for all his people, “said the Pontiff.
The Holy Father invited, “before a world that suffers so much, before so many people who suffer the consequences of this pandemic,” to ask: Am I capable of crying as, surely, Jesus would have done and does Jesus himself?
He insisted that “many cry today. And we, from this altar, from this sacrifice of Jesus, of Jesus who is not ashamed to cry, ask for the grace to cry. May today be for all of us like the Sunday of tears ”.
In his homily, Pope Francis reflected on the evangelical fragment in which the resurrection of Lazarus is narrated.
He recalled that “Jesus had friends. He loved them all, but he had friends with whom he had a special relationship, as with friends, of greater love, of greater confidence. And many, many times he stayed at these friends’ houses: Lázaro, Marta, María… And Jesus felt pain for the illness and death of his friend ”Lázaro.
Jesus “arrived at the tomb and was deeply shocked and, very disturbed, asked: ‘Where have you put it?’ And Jesus broke down in tears. Jesus, God, but man, he cries ”.
He explained that also “on another occasion in the Gospel it is said that Jesus wept: when he thinks of Jerusalem. And how tenderly Jesus cries! He cries from the heart, he cries with love, he cries with his own who cry. The cry of Jesus. Perhaps he has cried other times in life, we do not know; surely in the Garden of Olives. But Jesus cries of love, always ”.
“He is deeply shocked and, very disturbed, he cries. How many times have we heard this commotion of Jesus in the Gospel, with that phrase that is repeated: “Seeing him, he had compassion.” Jesus cannot look at people and not feel compassion. His eyes are with the heart; Jesus sees with his eyes, but he looks with his heart and is capable of crying. ”
Pope Francis ended the homily by asking himself: “Does my heart resemble that of Jesus? And if it is too hard, if I am able to speak, to do good, to help, but it does not enter the heart. I am not able to cry, ask the Lord for that grace: Lord, I will cry with you, cry with your people who, at this moment, suffer. ”
Gospel commented by Pope Francis:
John 11: 1-45
1 There was a certain sick man, Lazarus, from Bethany, town of Mary and his sister Martha.
2 Mary was the one who anointed the Lord with perfumes and dried his feet with her hair; his brother Lazaro was the sick man.
3 The sisters sent Jesus to say: “Lord, he whom you love is sick.”
4 When Jesus heard it, he said: “This disease is not of death, it is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it.”
5 Jesus loved Martha, her sister, and Lazarus.
6 When he found out that he was sick, he stayed two more days in the place where he was.
7 At the end of them, he says to his disciples: “Let’s go back to Judea.”
8 The disciples say to him, “Rabbi, with whom the Jews recently wanted to stone you, and are you going back there?”
9 Jesus answered: «Are not the hours of the day twelve? If one walks during the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world;
10 But if one walks at night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him. “
11 He said this and added: «Our friend Lazarus sleeps; but I’m going to wake him up.
12 His disciples said to him, “Lord, if he sleeps, he will be cured.”
13 Jesus had said this about his death, but they believed he was talking about the rest of the dream.
14 Then Jesus openly said to them, “Lazarus is dead,
15 and I am glad for you of not having been there, so that you believe. But let’s go to him.
16 Then Thomas, called the Twin, said to the other disciples: “Let us also go and die with him.”
17 When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days.
18 Bethany was near Jerusalem about fifteen stadia,
19 and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary’s house to comfort them for their brother.
20 When Martha knew that Jesus had come, she met him while Mary remained at home.
21 Martha said to Jesus: “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.
22 But even now I know that whatever you ask of God, God will grant it to you. ”
23 Jesus said to him, “Your brother will rise again.”
24 Martha replied, “I know that he will rise in the resurrection on the last day.”
25 Jesus answered him, “I am the resurrection. He who believes in me, even if he dies, will live;
26 and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?
27 She says to him: “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one who was to come into the world.”
28 Having said this, he went to call his sister Maria and said in his ear: “The Master is there and calls you.”
29 As soon as she heard it, she got up quickly and went to him.
30 Jesus had not yet reached the town; but he was still in the place where Marta had found him.
31 The Jews who were with Mary at home consoling her, when they saw her get up quickly and go out, followed her thinking that she was going to the tomb to cry there.
32 When Mary came to where Jesus was, when she saw him, she fell at his feet and said to him: “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”
33 When Jesus saw her cry and the Jews who were accompanying her also cried, she was deeply moved, disturbed.
34 and said, “Where have you put it?” They answer him, “Lord, come and you will see it.”
35 Jesus began to cry.
36 The Jews then said, “Look how I loved him.”
37 But some of them said, “This man, who opened the blind man’s eyes, could he not have caused him not to die?”
38 Then Jesus was moved inside him again and went to the tomb. It was a cave, and it had a stone on it.
39 Jesus says: “Take away the stone.” Marta, the dead man’s sister, replies: «Sir, it already smells; it’s the fourth day.
40 Jesus said to him, “Did I not tell you that if you believe you will see the glory of God?”
41 So they removed the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said: «Father, I thank you for listening to me.
42 I already knew that you always listen to me; but I have said it for these that surround me, so that they believe that you have sent me. »
43 Having said this, he cried out in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!”
44 And the dead man came out, bound hand and foot with bandages, and wrapped his face in a shroud. Jesus says to them, “Loose him and let him walk.”
45 Many of the Jews who had come to Mary’s house, seeing what he had done, believed in him.