Thanksgiving mass for three year anniversary of election of Pope Francis
JERUSALEM – On March 13, 2016, a thanksgiving mass for the three year anniversary of Pope Francis’s election was celebrated at Notre Dame Center.
Mass was celebrated by Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Giuseppe Lazzarotto and concelebrated by His Beatitude Fouad Twal, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, the Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land, and a good number of priests, answering the call of Pope Francis he made at the time of his election on March 13, 2013 : “Please, do not forget to pray for me”.
The homily was preached by Custos of the Holy Land, Fr. Pierbattista Pizzaballa. The latter commented on Sunday Gospel, showing how history of the adulterous woman puts us in presence of a God who manages to embrace together justice and mercy. The Gospel invites us to wonder “where is Jesus?” In the first part, Jesus argues with the Scribes and Pharisees, he doesn’t fall for the trap made to him, and calls on those who interrogate him towards conversion: “What Jesus wants is the conversion of the sinner”.
The Custos then looked at the second part of the Gospel where Jesus talks to the adulterous woman. He refers to her by the term “woman”, “this term is the one which Jesus used to refer to Mary in Cana, the Samaritan woman, and Mary of Magdala at the time of Resurrection; in the eyes of Jesus, she is a woman before she’s a sinner. Through these words, Jesus brings her back all the dignity of a woman” explained Fr. Pizzaballa. “Christ is at the same time the one who condemns sin and the one who saves us from sin. For us the woman is like a mirror that shows how the Lord works with us”, he further said.
At the end of the homily, the Custos underlined the importance of living the Year of Mercy, according to the wish of Pope Francis and urged the faithful to wonder how as members of the Church of Jerusalem they can show the merciful face of God, asking them to be “merciful just like Christ is merciful”
On March 17, 2013, Pope Francis had preached this Gospel on the first Sunday mass of His pontificate when He declared: “For me I say it modestly, it is the strongest message of the Lord; mercy!”
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