Vatican City, 20 January 2014 (VIS) – At 4 p.m. on Sunday the Holy Father visited the Roman parish of “Sacro Cuore di Gesù a Castro Pretorio”. Upon arrival he greeted the faithful of the parish and children baptised during the last few months, accompanied by their parents, recently married couples and young families.
The Pope encountered some aspects of the life of the area, meeting with the poor and homeless who live close to Termini Station and a group of refugees whom he encouraged to feel at home.
He confessed five penitents and at 6 p.m. celebrated the Eucharist in the basilica. The Pope's homily drew on the passage of the Gospel in which John baptises Jesus, saying “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”.
“Jesus is called the Lamb: He is the Lamb Who takes upon Himself the sin of the world. One might think, how can a little lamb, so weak, take on so many sins, so much malice? With love. With his meekness. Jesus never ceased to be a lamb: meek, good, full of love, close to the little ones, close to the poor. … But he had the strength to bear the weight of all our sins, all of them. 'But, Father, you don't know my life: I have one that... I wouldn't be able to carry that weight, even with a truck'. So often, when we look into our conscience, we find some sins that are very great! But He takes them on. He came to us for this reason – to forgive, to make peace in the world, but first of all in our hearts. Perhaps some of us have sorrow in our hearts, perhaps we have darkness in our hearts, perhaps we feel a little sad for the guilt we bear... He came to relieve us of all this - He gives us peace, and He forgives all”.
“We often place our trust in a doctor, and this is good, because doctors are there to cure us. We trust in people: brothers and sisters who are able to help us. It is good to have this human trust between us. But we forget our trust in the Lord: and this is the key to success in life. Trust in the Lord – let us entrust ourselves to the Lord!”. He concluded, “this is a gamble we must take: to entrust ourselves to Him. And He never disappoints. Never, never! Listen carefully, boys and girls, those of you who are starting out in life now: Jesus never disappoints”.
Pope Francis concluded his visit by meeting with the Salesian community in charge of the parish, Fr. Valerio Baresi S.D.B., and the Missionary Sisters of the Risen Christ. Finally, before returning to the Vatican, the Holy Father paused to speak with the young people of the parish.