Pope Francis Teaches .....

The account of Jesus' entrance into Jerusalem evokes a range of different and at times contradictory sentiments, including love and hatred, self-sacrifice and indifference; the joy of those who welcome Jesus and the bitterness of those who want him crucified. The sense of love and joy conveyed in the passage is reminiscent of all those “living on the edges” of society or who have been “left behind and overlooked,” but who have also been touched, healed or forgiven by God in some way.

In contrast, this joy is a source of “scandal” for those who consider themselves faithful to the law and its precepts, and it is unbearable for those hardened against pain, suffering and misery. How hard it is for the comfortable and the self-righteous to understand the joy and the celebration of God’s mercy! How hard it is for those who trust only in themselves, and look down on others, to share in this joy.

The cry of those who shout “crucify him!”  is the voice armed with disparagement, slander and false witness. It is the voice of those who twist reality and invent stories for their own benefit, without concern for the good name of other. People with this attitude have no problem “spinning facts” and making Jesus look like a criminal. As a result hope is demolished, dreams are killed, joy is suppressed; the heart is shielded and charity grows cold. However, the best remedy is to look at Christ’s cross and let ourselves be challenged by his final cry, which Jesus made as he died for each and every person.

Looking to the cross means to challenge and question oneself about one's actions and choices, including the sensitivity to those who are experiencing difficulty. Where is our heart focused? Does Jesus Christ continue to be a source of joy and praise in our heart, or does its priorities and concerns make us ashamed to look at sinners, the least and forgotten?

Like the Pharisees who told Jesus to “rebuke your disciples,” there are also people who try to silence and exclude the youth.There are many ways to silence young people and make them invisible. Many ways to anesthetize them, to make them keep quiet, ask nothing, question nothing. There are many ways to sedate them, to keep them from getting involved, to make their dreams flat and dreary, petty and plaintive.

However, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out, you have it in you to shout.

It is up to you not to keep quiet, even if others keep quiet, if we older people and leaders keep quiet, if the whole world keeps quiet and loses its joy, I ask you: Will you cry out?




Past teachings .....

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Brentwood Diocesan Trust

Registered Charity No. 234092

Rev. Martin O’Connor

The Presbytery

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Chadwell Heath

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RM6 5RS

St Bede’s Catholic Church

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