MORNING MASS IN THE CHAPEL OF THE
DOMUS SANCTAE MARTHAE
HOMILY OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS
"Addressing the Lord with our truth"
Sunday, 15 March 2020
This Lenten Sunday let us all pray together for the sick, for people who suffer. And today I would like to pray with all of you a special prayer for the people who, through their work, guarantee the functioning of society: those working in pharmacies, supermarkets, transport, policemen…We pray for all those who are working so that at this moment social life, civil life, can keep going ahead.
The Gospel (cf. Jn 4:5-42) tells us about a dialogue, a historical dialogue. - it is not a parable, it happened - of Jesus’ encounter with a woman, with a sinner.
It is the first time in the Gospel that Jesus declares His identity. And He declares it to a sinner who had the courage to tell Him the truth: “These men were not my husbands” (cf. vv. 16-18). And then with the same argument, she went to proclaim Jesus: “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?” (cf. v. 29). She did not go with theological arguments - as she perhaps wanted in the dialogue with Jesus: “On this mountain, on the other mountain…” (cf. v. 20). She goes with her truth. And her truth is what sanctifies her, it justifies her. It is her truth that the Lord uses to proclaim the Gospel.
We cannot be Jesus’s disciples without our own truth, that which we are. One cannot be disciple of Jesus with arguments alone: “On this mountain, on the other one…”. This woman had the courage to dialogue with Jesus - because these two peoples did not dialogue with each other (cf. v. 9); she had the courage to take interest in Jesus’ proposal, in that water, because she knew she was thirsty. She had the courage to confess her weaknesses, her sins. Rather, she had the courage to use her history as a guarantee that He was a prophet. He “told me everything I ever did” (v. 29).
The Lord always wants transparent dialogue, without hiding things, without dual intentions: “I am like this”. I can speak with the Lord this way, just as I am, with my own truth. Thus, from my own truth, by the power of the Holy Spirit, I find the truth: that the Lord is the Saviour, He Who came to save me and to save us.
This transparent dialogue between Jesus and the woman ends with that confession of the Messianic reality of Jesus, and with the conversion of those people [of Samaria], with that field that the Lord saw was flowering, that came to Him because it was ripe for harvest (cf. v. 35).
May the Lord grant us the grace to pray always with the truth, to turn to the Lord with our own truth, not with others’ truth, not with truths distilled in debates: “It is true, I had five husbands. This is my truth” (cf. vv. 17-18).
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