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Joy in forbearance

· The Pope's Mass at Santa Marta ·

Joy and the strength of Christian patience make people younger and help them to accept trials and to live patiently through the difficulties of life. Pope Francis recalled this in the homily of the Mass celebrated on Tuesday morning, 7 May, in the Chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae. Among those who participated were the second group of assistants from the Fabric of St Peter and of the Treasury Museum of St Peter's Basilica.

Among the concelebrants were Cardinals Angelo Comastri and Jorge María Mejía; Archbishop of Tlalnepantla, Mexico and President of CELAM, Carlos Aguiar Retes, together with Auxiliary Bishop Efraín Mendoza Cruz; Bishop Delegate of the Fabric of St Peter's, Vittorio Lanzani; Bishop Francisco Javier Chavolla Ramos of Toluca, Mexico; and Bishop Juan José Omella Omella of Calahorra y La Calzada – Logroño, Spain.

The day's readings – taken from the Acts of the Apostles (16:22-24) and from the Gospel of John (16:5-11) – gave the Pope occasion to present again the spirit of endurance that one witnesses in the early Christian martyrs. On the subject, the Holy Father reminded the faithful of the testimony given by Paul and Silas in prison, who remained in prayer and sang hymns to God.

The Pontiff offered as an exemplar the martyrs who “were joyous while giving witness of Jesus. I am thinking, for example, of the martyrs of Nagasaki: each one helped the other, they struggled mightily and spoke of Jesus as they awaited the moment of their death; and it is said of some Roman martyrs that they set off for their martyrdom as if going to a wedding-banquet”. Yet, he warned, this doesn't mean to take on a masochistic attitude: it means simply “to place oneself on the path of Jesus”, who was the first to embrace this dimension of patience, undergoing his own Passion.

Nevertheless, this does not signify a sad silence, just as Jesus' silence was not sad when he suffered his Cross: “It is sorrowful, and often it is very sorrowful, but it is not sad”, for our heart is at peace.

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