Holy Thursday: Pope Francis delivers homily to 1,500+ priests

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This is the first image from the morning of Holy Thursday: the canopy over the altar of St. Peter's Basilica completely covered due to restoration and a tide of white cassocks.

Some 1,500 priests were present in the Basilica to celebrate the Chrism Mass, presided over by Pope Francis as the Bishop of Rome.

The Pope addressed his priests in an over 20-minute homily. His message centered on a word that he says needs to be rediscovered: guilt.

It is not a feeling of guilt that knocks us to the ground; it is not a scrupulosity that paralyzes, but a beneficial sting that burns inside and heals. Because the heart, when it sees its own evil and recognizes itself as a sinner, opens up and welcomes the action of the Holy Spirit, a living water that shakes it and makes tears run down its face.

Pope Francis thanked the priests for their work and encouraged them to rediscover the path of spiritual childhood and not to be afraid to cry in the face of life's difficulties.

From this point of view, it would be good if it were the opposite of what happens in biological life, in which, when we grow up, we cry less than when we are children. However, in the spiritual life, where it is difficult to become a child, those who do not cry go backwards and grow old inside, while those who achieve a simpler and more intimate prayer, made of adoration and emotion before God, mature.

On this day, the Church remembers the institution of the sacrament of the priesthood. At the end of the homily, the renewal of priestly promises took place.

In this celebration, the Holy Chrism is consecrated, which is the oil that is used for sacraments such as baptism.

In this celebration, two other oils are also blessed, such as the one used for the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick.


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