“We have begun Holy Week,” Pope Francis said at the Angelus following the Palm Sunday liturgy. “For the second time we will live it within the context of the pandemic,” he noted. “Last year, we were mostly shocked,” Pope Francis said. “This year we are more sorely tried.”
“The economic crisis has grown severe,” he also said, further noting that Christ’s coming into the world — his passion, death, and resurrection — show us Our Lord, who “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.”
Pope Francis offered the example of Our Lady, her divine son’s first disciple, who “shows us” what to do: “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,” Pope Francis said, “we too can make that journey.”
The Holy Father went on to say that we meet the faces of so many brothers and sisters in difficulty as we daily make the way of the cross. “Let us not pass by,” he said. “Let us allow our hearts to be moved with compassion, and let us draw near.”
Likening us to Simon of Cyrene, picked out of the crowd to help Our Lord carry his burden, Pope Francis said: “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.”
Concluding his remarks, Pope Francis also prayed for Indonesia, where a terror attack at the Catholic cathedral in Makassar wounded more than a dozen people on Palm Sunday morning.