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Who am I?

· On Palm Sunday Pope Francis poses a question that should guide every Christian's reflection during Holy Week ·

“Who am I?”. This is the question that should guide a Christian's reflection this Holy Week. Pope Francis posed this question to the faithful yesterday, 13 April, during the Holy Mass of Palm Sunday which he celebrated on the parvis in front of the Vatican Basilica. In his homily, which was delivered extemporaneously, the Pope then surveyed the possible responses to this question by considering the dispositions and behaviour of several of the figures described in the Gospel account of the Lord's Passion.

“This week begins with the festive procession with olive branches: the entire populace welcomes Jesus. The children and young people sing , praising Jesus,” the Holy Father said. Already we glimpse Jesus' Passion, the mystery of his Death and Resurrection. Precisely from this perspective, he observed, “we might well ask ourselves just one question: Who am I? Who am I, before my Lord? Who am I, before Jesus who enters Jerusalem amid the enthusiasm of the crowd? Am I ready to express my joy, to praise him? Or do I stand back? Who am I, before the suffering Jesus?”. Are we like those who wanted to kill him, the Pope went on to ask, or are we like Judas who betrayed him for thirty pieces of silver? Or have we “fallen asleep” like the Apostles “who understand nothing”? Or again, do we behave “like those people in power who hastily summon a tribunal and seek false witnesses?”; and when we do these things, do we believe that we are doing it for our neighbour's benefit? Or do we resemble Pilate and when we see that the situation is difficult, do we wash our hands and dodge our responsibilities, allowing people to be condemned?

The Bishop of Rome went on to ask if we identify with those who entertain themselves in taunting the Lord, or do we see ourselves in the Cyrenean, “who was returning from work, weary, yet was good enough to help the Lord carry his Cross”; or in those fearless women, “like the mother of Jesus, who were there, and who suffered in silence?”. Lastly, Pope Francis expressed his hope that this question might remain with us “throughout the entire week”.

At the conclusion of Mass, before the Angelus, the Pope announced his visit to the Republic of Korea next August for the continent-wide meeting of young people from Asia.

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