Pope Francis celebrates Mass at Papal Basilica of St Paul Outside the Walls

2013-04-14 Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis celebrated Mass on Sunday evening in the Papal Basilica of St Paul Outside the Walls. The Archpriest of the Basilica, Cardinal James Harvey, greeted the Holy Father before Mass, saying, “All those who make up the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls rejoice in welcoming the new Bishop of Rome in this solemn moment,” and noting that, “[i]t is on the faith of the two apostles and martyrs Peter and Paul, called ‘the pillars of the Church,’ that the Church of Rome traces its origins.” Listen:
Proclamation, witness, and worship were the three key ideas on which Pope Francis focused in his homily, with especial emphasis on those who suffer for their witness to the Faith. “There are the saints of every day,” said Pope Francis, “the ‘hidden’ saints, a sort of ‘middle class of holiness’ to which we can all belong.”
In many parts of the world, however, “[T]here are also those who suffer, like Peter and the Apostles, on account of the Gospel; there are those who give their lives in order to remain faithful to Christ by means of a witness marked by the shedding of their blood.” Pope Francis called on all the faithful to remember that one cannot proclaim the Gospel of Jesus without the tangible witness of one’s life. He said, “Those who listen to us and observe us must be able to see in our actions what they hear from our lips, and so give glory to God!” He went on to say, “Inconsistency on the part of pastors and the faithful between what they say and what they do, between word and manner of life, is undermining the Church’s credibility.”
Pope Francis then turned to the theme of worship. “What does it mean, then, to worship God?” he asked, answering, “[w]orshipping the Lord means giving him the place that he must have; worshipping the Lord means stating, believing – not only by our words – that he alone truly guides our lives; worshipping the Lord means that we are convinced before him that he is the only God, the God of our lives, the God of our history.”
“Dear brothers and sisters,” concluded Pope Francis, “each day the Lord calls us to follow him with courage and fidelity; he has made us the great gift of choosing us as his disciples; he sends us to proclaim him with joy as the Risen one, but he asks us to do so by word and by the witness of our lives, in daily life. The Lord is the only God of our lives, and he invites us to strip ourselves of our many idols and to worship him alone. May the Blessed Virgin Mary and Saint Paul help us on this journey and intercede for us.”