For those who saw it, Friday’s extraordinary Urbi et Orbi blessing (“to the city and the world”) from Pope Francis will be a moment in time we will never forget.
Alone in St. Peter’s Square in twilight, the Holy Father made his way to a podium and spoke words of comfort and challenge to us all, as he reflected on Mark’s Gospel describing how Jesus calmed a storm at sea — and reminded us of our reason to hope during this global pandemic:
We have a hope: by his cross we have been healed and embraced so that nothing and no one can separate us from his redeeming love. In the midst of isolation when we are suffering from a lack of tenderness and chances to meet up, and we experience the loss of so many things, let us once again listen to the proclamation that saves us: he is risen and is living by our side. The Lord asks us from his cross to rediscover the life that awaits us, to look towards those who look to us, to strengthen, recognize and foster the grace that lives within us. Let us not quench the wavering flame (cf. Is 42:3) that never falters, and let us allow hope to be rekindled.
For those of us at CNEWA, like so many around the world, those words give great solace and consolation. Many of our regional offices have been forced to close for the time being, but we are coping as best we can.
During this moment, we find “hope rekindled” by trusting in God’s mercy, and joining our brothers and sisters around the world in prayer.
If you didn’t see it, or want to watch it again, below is a full video of the pope’s liturgy from Friday. You can read the full text, as well. With the Holy Father as our guide and inspiration, let us keep praying for one another!
Thank you and God bless you.