Whispers in the Loggia: “This Is How God Is” At First Audience, Francis “Steps Outside”
Continuing the weekly tradition of his predecessors, this morning saw Pope Francis’ first turn at the General Audience, his focus on Holy Week.
Speaking only in Italian, the new pontiff made it a point to note his intent to resume the topic begun by Benedict XVI in his Wednesday talks “after Easter.”
For now, though – just two weeks since his election – today’s appearance launches Francis into the intense cycle of Holy Week’s climactic days.
While Papa Bergoglio will celebrate and preach at the Chrism Mass in St Peter’s tomorrow morning, the widely-noted Evening Mass in Rome’s youth prison will be a private affair closed to press (even if photos might still emerge). By tradition, the pontiff doesn’t give the homily at the Good Friday liturgy in St Peter’s, but will likely offer closing remarks during the nighttime Via Crucis at the Colosseum.
In the Triduum’s home stretch, Francis will preside and preach the Easter Vigil in the Vatican basilica on Saturday night, and give his Urbi et Orbi message following the morning Mass in lieu of a liturgical sermon.
As future plans go, meanwhile, this morning the Vatican announced that the 266th bishop of Rome – the title by which Francis has most often defined himself – will formally take possession of his cathedral, St John Lateran, at an evening Mass on April 7th, the Second Sunday of Easter.
|(Note: As seen above today, Francis has kept to employing his personal silver ring in everyday use, wearing the Fisherman’s Ring with which he was invested solelyfor major liturgies.)
The Hubble Ultra Deep Field / Wikipedia
“The universe is not the result of chance, as some would want to make us believe,” Benedict said on the day of the Epiphany, where the Bible says the three kings arrived at the birthplace of Jesus, Reuters reports.
“Contemplating it (the universe), we are invited to read something profound into it: the wisdom of the creator, the inexhaustible creativity of God,” he added in a sermon at St. Peter’s Basilica.
“Many scientists believe the Big Bang created the universe 13.7 billion years ago. Although the pope has previously spoken about evolution, he has rarely discussed scientific concepts such as this one.”
Image via Wikipedia
The Holy Father has announced a worldwide vigil of prayer for unborn children. On Saturday evening, November 27, in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome the Holy Father will begin the season of Advent. He will lift up in prayer all the children living in the womb, and call God’s protection on them.
Please join Pope BenedictXVI in prayer. He has invited all the bishops of the world to join him. The Advent prayer may be prayed as a Novena or through the season of Advent:
Advent Prayer for LIfe
God of Life,
We rejoice in the promise of your coming.
You have sent your Son, born in Bethlehem.
He is the Prince of Peace, and
The one in whose name all oppression shall cease.
May we welcome his coming each day
And prepare for his coming at the end of time.
May we build a culture that welcomes him
By welcoming every child, born and unborn.
We pray through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.
Priests for Life offers Advent Prayer Cards for your parishes (free).