18 April 2020

Anxious? Fearful? Let the Lord’s presence console and fill you with joy…

According to Vatican News, Pope Francis stressed this on Thursday, during his private daily Mass at his residence Casa Santa Marta.

At the start of the Mass, while remembering all victims of Coronavirus, Francis recalled specifically pharmacists noting, that while he has thanked the other medical professionals, he has not given them enough attention.

“I thanked doctors, nurses, volunteers. ‘But you have forgotten the pharmacists,’” he acknowledged, adding: “They have been working hard to help the sick get better. Let us pray for them as well.”

In his homily, the Holy Father reflected on the anxiety and fear of many in Jerusalem following Jesus’ Resurrection.

When the disciples were doubtful, Francis recalled how Jesus’ presence calmed the fears of the disciples when He appeared to them, saying: “Why are you so agitated, and why are these doubts rising in your hearts? Look at my hands! Touch me and see for yourselves! A ghost has no flesh and bones.”

With this, their fear transformed into overflowing joy.

The same happened on the day of the Ascension: the disciples returned to Jerusalem, says the Bible, “full of joy” (Cf. Acts 24:52-53). It’s the fullness of consolation, the fullness of the Lord’s presence, because, as Paul says to the Galatians, “joy is the fruit of the Holy Spirit” (Cf. Galatians 5:22);

Francis stressed that it’s not “the consequence of emotions that burst out because of something wonderful.”

“No, it’s more,” he underscored, noting: “this joy, which fills us, is the fruit of the Holy Spirit. One cannot have this joy without the Spirit. It is a grace to receive the joy of the Spirit.”

Let us pray

For all those in health care:
Loving God, you created us with the capacity to heal, to restore and to offer peace through our role in health care ministry. Help us to be signs of love and compassion in the world today — honouring every person we meet who is in need of healing. When our burdens are heavy, renew us, remind us of the blessing of our calling and reawaken our commitment to the healing ministry. Amen.