A screen shot from the TV broadcast of Pope Francis' first Mass as pontiff (via Vatican Radio)
Today Pope Francis celebrated his first Mass as Supreme
Pontiff. Joined by the College of Cardinals, Pope Francis said the Missa pro
EcclesiaMass for the Churchin the Sistine Chapel, where just yesterday he
was elect to the Chair of Peter.
Vatican Radio summarizes the
The first reading was from the Book of the Prophet, Isaiah:
“And in the last days the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be prepared
on the top of mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills, and all
nations shall flow unto it.”
The Responsorial Psalm was taken from Psalm 97: “Let us sing
to the LORD a new song”. The Second Reading was from the 1st Letter of St Peter: “you are a chosen
generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation.” The Gospel reading was from St
Matthew: “You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the
gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
is the full text of Pope Francis’ homily, translated
by Vatican Radio:
these three readings I see that there is something in common: it is movement.
In the first reading, movement is the journey [itself]; in the second reading,
movement is in the up-building of the Church. In the third, in the Gospel, the
movement is in [the act of] profession: walking, building, professing.
the House of Jacob. “O house of Jacob, Come, let us walk in the light of the
Lord.” This is the first thing God said to Abraham: “Walk in my presence and be
blameless.” Walking: our life is a journey and when we stop, there is something
wrong. Walking always, in the presence of the Lord, in the light of the Lord,
seeking to live with that blamelessness, which God asks of Abraham, in his
to build the Church. There is talk of stones: stones have consistency, but [the
stones spoken of are] living stones, stones anointed by the Holy Spirit. Build
up the Church, the Bride of Christ, the cornerstone of which is the same Lord.
With [every] movement in our lives, let us build!
professing: we can walk as much we want, we can build many things, but if we do
not confess Jesus Christ, nothing will avail. We will become a pitiful NGO, but
not the Church, the Bride of Christ. When one does not walk, one stalls. When
one does not built on solid rocks, what happens? What happens is what happens
to children on the beach when they make sandcastles: everything collapses, it
is without consistency. When one does not profess Jesus ChristI recall the
phrase of Leon Bloy“Whoever does not pray to God, prays to the devil.” When
one does not profess Jesus Christ, one professes the worldliness of the devil.
building-constructing, professing: the thing, however, is not so easy, because
in walking, in building, in professing, there are sometimes shake-upsthere are
movements that are not part of the path: there are movements that pull us back.
Gospel continues with a special situation. The same Peter who confessed Jesus
Christ, says, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. I will follow
you, but let us not speak of the Cross. This has nothing to do with it.” He
says, “I’ll follow you on other ways, that do not include the Cross.” When we
walk without the Cross, when we build without the Cross, and when we profess
Christ without the Cross, we are not disciples of the Lord. We are worldly, we
are bishops, priests, cardinals, Popes, but not disciples of the Lord.
would like that all of us, after these days of grace, might have the couragethe
courageto walk in the presence of the Lord, with the Cross of the Lord: to
build the Church on the Blood of the Lord, which is shed on the Cross, and to
profess the one glory, Christ Crucified. In this way, the Church will go
My hope for all of us is that the Holy Spirit, that the prayer of Our
Lady, our Mother, might grant us this grace: to walk, to build, to profess
Jesus Christ Crucified. So be it.