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Monday, April 10, 2017

0524: Homilies Delivered by Pope Francis
During the Mass of the Lord's Supper

Entry 0524: Homilies Delivered During the Mass of the Lord's Supper  

by Pope Francis  

On two occasions during his pontificate, Pope Francis has delivered reflections on Holy Thursday during the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, on 2 April 2015 and 24 March 2016. Here are the texts of the two brief reflections delivered on these occasions.



C.A.R.A. Auxilium, Castelnuovo di Porto, Rome
 Holy Thursday, 24 March 2016

Actions speak louder than images and words. Acts. There are, in this Word of God that we have read, two acts: Jesus who serves, who washes feet. He, who was the “master,” washes the feet of others, his [disciples], of the least. An act. The second act: Judas who goes to Jesus’ enemies, to those who do not want peace with Jesus, in order to take the money for which he betrayed Him, 30 pieces of silver. Two acts. Today too, here, there are two acts: this one, all of us, together: Muslims, Hindus, Catholics, Copts, Evangelicals, but brothers and sisters, children of the same God, who want to live in peace, integrated. An act. Three days ago, an act of war, of destruction in a European city, by people who do not want to live in peace. But behind that act, as behind Judas, there were others. Behind Judas were those who paid money for Jesus to be delivered. Behind “that” act [in Brussels] are weapons producers and traffickers who want blood, not peace; who want war, not brotherhood.

Two parallel acts: on the one hand, Jesus washes the feet, while Judas sells Jesus for money; and on the other hand, you, we, everyone together, different religions, different cultures, but children of the same Father, brothers and sisters, while those unfortunate ones buy weapons to destroy brotherhood. Today, at this moment, as I perform the same act as Jesus by washing the feet of you twelve, we are all engaged in the act of brotherhood, and we are all saying: “We are diverse, we are different, we have different cultures and religions, but we are brothers and sisters and we want to live in peace.” This is the act that I carry out with you. Each of us has a history on our shoulders, each of you has a history on your shoulders: so many crosses, so much pain, but also an open heart that wants brotherhood. Each one, in your own religious language, pray the Lord that this brotherhood infect the world, that there be no 30 pieces of silver to kill a brother, that there always be brotherhood and goodness. Let it be.

At the end of the Mass, the Holy Father said:

I now greet you one by one, with all my heart. I thank you for this encounter. Let us just remember and show that it is beautiful to live together as brothers and sisters, with different cultures, religions and traditions: we are all brothers and sisters! And this is called peace and love. Thank you.



“Our Father” Church, Rebibbia New Complex District Prison, Rome
Holy Thursday, 2 April 2015

On this Thursday, Jesus was at table with the disciples, celebrating the feast of Passover. And the passage of the Gospel which we heard contains a phrase that is the very core of what Jesus did for us: “having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end” (Jn 13:1). Jesus loved us. Jesus loves us. Without limit, always, to the end. Jesus’ love for us knows no limits: always more and more. He never tires of loving anyone. He loves us all, to the point of giving his life for us. Yes, giving his life for us; yes, giving his life for all of us, giving his life for each one of us. And every one of us can say: “He gave his life for me.” Everyone: He gave His life for you, for you, for you, for you, for me, for him, [pointing to the inmates] for each person, by first and last name. His love is like that: personal. Jesus’ love never disappoints, because He never tires of loving, just as He never tires of forgiving, never tires of embracing us. This is the first thing that I wanted to say to you: Jesus loved us, every one of us, to the end.

And then, He does something that the disciples don’t understand: washing the feet. In that time, this was usual, it was customary, because when the people arrived in a home, their feet were dirty with the dust of the road; there were no cobblestones at that time. There were dusty roads. And at the entrance to the house, they washed their feet. It was not done by the master of the house but by the slaves. That was the task of a slave. And like a slave, Jesus washes our feet, the feet of his disciples, and that is why He says: “What I am doing you do not know now, but afterward you will understand” (Jn 13:7). Jesus’ love is so great that He became a slave to serve us, to heal us, to cleanse us.

Today, in this Mass, the Church would like the priest to wash the feet of 12 people, in memory of the 12 Apostles. But in our hearts we must be certain, we must be sure that, when the Lord washes our feet, He washes us entirely, He purifies us, He lets us feel his love yet again. There is a very beautiful phrase in the Bible, the prophet Isaiah says: “Can a mother forget her child? But even if a mother could forget her child, I will never forget you” (see 49:15). God’s love for us is like this.

And today I will wash the feet of 12 of you, but all of you are in these brothers and sisters, all of you, everyone. Everyone who lives here. You represent them. But I too need to be washed by the Lord, and for this you pray during the Mass, that the Lord also wash away my impurities, that I might become a better servant to you, a better slave at the service of the people, as Jesus was. Now let us begin this part of the celebration. 

© Copyright - Libreria Editrice Vaticana

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For reflections delivered during the Mass of the Lord's Supper 

 by Pope Benedict XVI,
please scroll down to the bottom of this page.

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