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Rome Reports

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Pope on Palm Sunday: Don't think about what you lack, but of the good you can do

This was St. Peter's Basilica on Palm Sunday.

Pope Francis celebrated the liturgy with just a handful of his collaborators, in the far end of the basilica, at the Altar of the Chair of Peter.

The passage recounting Jesus' death was read, and everyone knelt for a moment of silence, in keeping with tradition.

The pope reflected on Christ's Passion, a central element of Holy Week, along with the Resurrection.

He said Jesus' sacrifice holds a key message to face life's difficult moments.

He did it to say to us, 'Do not be afraid. You are not alone. I experienced all your desolation in order to be ever close to you.' Today, in the drama of the pandemic, in the face of the many false securities that have now crumbled, in the face of so many hopes betrayed, in the sense of abandonment that weighs upon our hearts, Jesus says to each one of us, 'Courage. Open your heart to my love. You will feel the consolation of God who sustains you.'

The pope also said that World Youth Day was being celebrated at the local level all over the globe. That's why he addressed a special message to young people.

May we not think only about what we lack, but about the good we can do. Dear friends, look at the true heroes, who in these days are brought to light. They aren't the ones with fame, money and success. Rather, they are those who give themselves to serve others. Feel called yourselves to put your lives on the line. Do not be afraid to devote your life to God and others. It pays!

Only about 30 collaborators participated in this liturgy. Only one cardinal, Angelo Comastri, archpriest of St. Peter's Basilica, was present.

After Mass, and before praying the Angelus, the pope announced that the handing off of the cross from the youth of Panama to those of Lisbon will be postponed to the Feast of Christ the King, in November. It is tradition for representatives from the previous edition of World Youth Day to give the cross to representatives of the next.

Pope Francis sent one last message to the sick, victims and their families.

Let us spiritually embrace the sick, their families and those who care for them selflessly. Let us pray for the deceased, in the light of paschal faith. Each one of them is present in our hearts, in our memories, in our prayers.

At the celebration, Pope Francis once more asked for the intercession of two people, as he did at the beginning of the pandemic in Italy. The first was the patroness of Rome, Salus Populi Romani. The second was the Crucifix of San Marcello, kept in the center of Rome. The Roman people attribute to this crucifix the end of the plague in 1522.

Javier Romero
Translation: Claudia Torres