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Pope offers Mass again for prisoners: “They are also thinking of their families”

Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 03/19/20

In homily, Francis reflects on Joseph's capacity to control his work, but also enter into the mystery of God, beyond his control

Once again, Pope Francis offered his Mass at the Casa Santa Marta on the morning of March 19 for those in prison, saying, “they suffer a lot from uncertainty and pain.” On March 11, he had the same intention, reflecting the prion riots in Italy after the lockdown measures prohibited visitors. Several prisoners died as a result of those riots.

The Holy Father has given special prominence to prison ministry in his pontificate, choosing to celebrate the Holy Thursday Masses in prisons, as well as speaking out even more emphatically than his predecessors on the death penalty.


Read more:
Pope asks prisoners to write Good Friday meditations

“We pray today for our brothers and sisters who are in prison,” he said at the start of Mass. “They suffer a lot,” he continued, “because of the uncertainty of what’s happening inside the prison. They are also thinking of their families and how they are doing, some of them are sick, wondering if they need anything. Let’s be near those in prison today. They are suffering a lot during this uncertain and painful moment.”

The pope’s homily focused on St. Joseph, as the Church celebrates his solemnity today.

He was chosen to educate a man who was true man, but who was also God. Only God could have educated such a person, but there wasn’t someone like that. The Lord chose a just man, a man of faith, a man who was capable of being a man, and also capable of speaking with God, of entering into God’s mystery. This was Joseph life.

The Holy Father reflected on how Joseph’s labors required great precision from him, as he was able to command the materials of his craft down to millimeters of precision.

He was precise, but also able to enter into the mystery that he could not control. This is Joseph’s holiness.

“Let’s ask the Lord for this grace,” Pope Francis prayed at the conclusion of his homily.

May the Church live in the concreteness of everyday life and also in that ‘concreteness’ of the mystery.Entering into the mystery is not about dreaming. Entering into the mystery is precisely this: to adore. Entering into the mystery is doing today what we will do in the future. When we will have arrived in God’s presence: adore. May the Lord grant His Church this grace.

Read more:
Do you know what it is to adore God? Pope says we must learn, because that’s what we’ll do in heaven


Read more:
St. Joseph “makes impossible things possible,” says Pope Francis

Pope's Morning Mass
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