Back on his feet after canceling his Friday visit to the Gemelli hospital for health reasons, Pope Francis presided the Mass on the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, the patrons of Rome.
He was joined by a representative of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, Metropolitcan Iannis, who the Pope greeted affectionately.
The Pope placed a pallium on 24 archbishops. It's a woolen band that symbolizes unity, and is made from the wool of lambs the Pope blessed on the feast day of St. Agnes.
During his homily, Pope Francis talked about the St. Peter's captivity, and how God freed him from jail and from his fear. He used that episode to talk about the fears that many bishops go through.
"Here is the problem for us, fear and pastoral refuge. Are we, I ask myself my brother bishops, are we afraid? Of what? And if we are, what refuge do we seek in our pastoral lives to feel safe?”
The Pope asked bishops about where they place this safety. He said that the true refuge is found within God's trust.
"Peter experiences that God's loyalty is greater than our infidelity, and stronger than our negotiations. He realizes that the Lord's loyalty drives away our fears, and overcomes all human imagination. Even today, Jesus asks us: Do you love me? He does it precisely because he knows our fears and fatigues.”
Pope Francis also explained that God's love and loyalty help overcome temptations like envy, in the same way as when St. Peter saw St. John close to Jesus.
"The Lord repeats today, to me, to you and to all the Shepherds: 'Follow me,' Don't lose time on useless gossip or questions; Don't linger on the secondary issues, but rather look towards the essential and fallow me. Follow me despite the challenges.”
In closing, the Pope said that Jesus never abandons and that his loyalty is "unbreakable.” That's why he asked the cardinals and bishops to trust God, because He "keeps alive the desire to serve Him and to serve our brothers.”