After celebrating the Palm Sunday Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica, Pope Francis led the faithful in praying the midday Angelus. In his brief reflection, the Holy Father noted that a second Holy Week marked by the pandemic is “more trying,” as the fatigue and the trials of the crisis weigh on us. “Last year we were more shaken up,” he said, “this year it is more trying for us. And the economic crisis has become heavy.”
The pope took this situation to ask a question:
“In this historical and social situation, what is God doing?,” he asked.
He takes up the cross. Jesus takes up the cross, that is, he takes on the evil that this situation entails, the physical and psychological evil – and above all the spiritual evil – because the Evil One is taking advantage of the crisis to disseminate distrust, desperation, and discord.
And the pope asked another question:
And us? What should we do? The one who shows us is the Virgin Mary, the Mother of Jesus, who is also his first disciple. She followed her Son. She took upon herself her own portion of suffering, of darkness, of confusion, and she walked the way of the passion keeping the lamp of faith lit in her heart. With God’s grace, we too can make that journey. And, along the daily way of the cross, we meet the faces of so many brothers and sisters in difficulty: let us not pass by, let us allow our hearts to be moved with compassion, and let us draw near. When it happens, like the Cyrenian, we might think: “Why me?” But then we will discover the gift that, without our own merit, has touched us.
Pope’s Palm Sunday homily (full text): ‘This liturgy leaves us amazed’
The pope also noted this morning’s terrorist attack in Indonesia. “Let us pray for all the victims of violence, in particular the victims of this morning’s attack in Indonesia, in front of the Cathedral of Makassar. May the Madonna who always precedes us on the path of faith help us.”
The attack happened at the Sacred Heart of Jesus Cathedral in the eastern Indonesian city of Makassar, at about 10:20 am, just as Palm Sunday Mass had concluded.
There were no deaths, but at least 19 people were injured by the explosion, which the president labeled an act of terrorism.