Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory,
my understanding, and my entire will,
all that I have and possess.
You have given all to me.
To you, O Lord, I return it.
All is Yours, dispose of it wholly
according to your will.
Give me Your love and Your grace,
for this is sufficient for me.
HOMILY OF POPE FRANCIS, St. Peter’s Square, 29th World Youth Day, April 13, 2014 (March 29, 2015)
This week begins with the festive procession with olive branches: the entire populace welcomes Jesus. The children and young people sing, praising Jesus.
But this week continues in the mystery of Jesus’ death and his resurrection. We might well ask ourselves just one question: Who am I, before my Lord? Who am I, before Jesus who enters Jerusalem amid the enthusiasm of the crowd? Am I ready to express my joy, to praise him? Or do I stand back?
Am I like the disciples, who did not realize what it was to betray Jesus? Or like that other disciple, who wanted to settle everything with a sword? Am I like them?
Am I like Judas, who feigns love and then kisses the Master in order to hand him over, to betray him? Am I like those people in power who hastily summon a tribunal and seek false witnesses? And when I do these things, if I do them, do I think that in this way I am saving the people?
Am I like Pilate? When I see that the situation is difficult, do I wash my hands and dodge my responsibility, allowing people to be condemned – or condemning them myself?
Am I like that crowd which was not sure whether they were at a religious meeting, a trial or a circus, and then chose Barabbas? For them it was all the same: it was more entertaining to humiliate Jesus.
Am I like the soldiers who strike the Lord, spit on him, insult him, who find entertainment in humiliating him?
Am I like the Cyrenean, who was returning from work, weary, yet was good enough to help the Lord carry his cross?
Am I like those who walked by the cross and mocked Jesus: “He was so courageous! Let him come down from the cross and then we will believe in him!”. Mocking Jesus….
Am I like those fearless women, and like the mother of Jesus, who were there, and who suffered in silence?
Am I like Joseph, the hidden disciple, who lovingly carries the body of Jesus to give it burial?
Am I like the two Marys, who remained at the Tomb, weeping and praying?
Where is my heart? Which of these persons am I like? May this question remain with us throughout the entire week.
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