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On the Mount where Jesus opened the path to freedom

· The Pope celebrates Mass of the Lord's Supper at St John Lateran ·

In the prayer to the Father on the Mount of Olives, Jesus “resolved the false opposition between obedience and freedom”, and “opened the path to freedom”. The Holy Father said this in the Homily for the Mass of the Lord’s Supper celebrated on Holy Thursday, 5 April, in the Basilica of St John Lateran. He explained that “we are free only if we stand in the truth of our being, if we are united to God”. On the contrary, when people eliminate God to reach true freedom, “they set themselves against the truth of their own being and consequently do not become free, but alienated from themselves”. This form of pride is “the real essence of sin”.

Benedict XVI — that during the celebration performed the washing of the feet on 12 Roman priests and donated the offerings received for humanitarian assistance of Syrian refugees — recalled that on the Mount of Olives, Jesus experiences the anguish before “the power of death” and the “entire flood of this world’s evil”. He “sees the filthy flood of all the lies and all the disgrace which he will encounter in that chalice from which he must drink”. His “anguish is thus an essential part of the process of redemption” during the moment when he relies on the will of God and “performs the office of a priest: he takes upon himself the sins of humanity, of us all, and he brings us before the Father”.

For this Christians are called to enter into prayer with Jesus kneeling before God. The Pope explains this by adding that: “when menaced by the power of evil, as they [people] kneel, they are upright before the world, while as sons and daughters, they kneel before the Father”. A gesture that expresses the recognition of his divinity and, mainly “our confidence that he will prevail”.

In the afternoon of Good Friday, before the Via Crucis at the Colosseum, the Pope presided at the celebration of the Lord's Passion in the Vatican Basilica, where Fr Raniero Cantalamessa, Preacher of the Papal Household, delivered the homily.

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Sept. 20, 2019

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