Vatican City, 19 December 2015 (VIS) – Yesterday afternoon Pope Francis another Holy Door, that was not however located in a church or cathedral. It was the entrance to the Caritas hostel at Termini Station, Rome, where the frailest members of society receive welcome and assistance. This door, in the hostel named after its founder Don Luigi Di Liegro, is now called the Door of Charity and, passing through it, the Pope entered the refectory dedicated to St. John Paul II, where he was awaited by two hundred men and women, accompanied by the volunteers from the Centre. He celebrated Holy Mass and pronounced a homily in which he reaffirmed that power is not the path of salvation and the Heaven cannot be bought with money.
“God comes to save us, and He finds no better way to do so than to walk with us, to make our life His”, said Francis.”And the moment of choosing the path, He did not choose a great city of a great empire; He did not choose as a mother a princess, a countess, an important person; He did not choose a luxurious mansion. It seems that all of this was done intentionally almost in secret. Mary was a girl aged just sixteen or seventeen, in a remote village in the outskirts of the Roman Empire, that nobody knew of. Joseph was boy who loved her and who wished to marry her, a carpenter who worked for a living. In total simplicity … And when he repudiated her – because they were engaged, and in such a small village, you know how gossip circulates. All in secret, in spite of slander and gossip. And Joseph realised that she was pregnant, but he was righteous. All hidden, despite the slander and gossip. And the Angel explains the mystery to Joseph: “'This Son that your fiancee carries in her womb is the work of God, the work of the Holy Spirit. When Joseph awoke from his dream, he did what the Angel of the Lord had ordered him to do: he went to Mary and took her as his wife. But all in secret, all humbly. The great cities of the world knew nothing of this. In this way God came in our midst. If you want to find God, seek in in humility, in poverty, look for Him where He is hidden: in those most in need, in the sick, the hungry, the imprisoned”.
“When Jesus speaks about life, He also tells us know we will be judged. He will not say, come to me because you … are a benefactor of the Church. … No. You do not pay your way to Heaven. He will not say, you are very important, you have studied a lot and have many honours, come to Heaven. No. Honours do not open the door to Heaven. What will Jesus say to open to us the door to Heaven? 'For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me'. Jesus is in humility”.
“Jesus' love is great”, the Pope exclaimed. “Therefore today as I open this door, I would like the Holy Spirit to open the heart of all Romans, and let them see the way to salvation! It is not luxury, it is not the way of great riches, it is not the route of power. It is the road of humility. The poorest, the sick, the imprisoned – Jesus says even more – the greatest sinners, if they repent, will precede us in Heaven. They have the key. He who acts in charity is the one who allows himself to be embraced by God's mercy”.
“Today we open this Door and we ask for two things. First, that the Lord open the door of our heart. We are all in need of this as we are all sinners; we all need to hear the Word of the Lord. … Second, may the Lord help us understand that the path of presumptuousness, the road of wealth, the road of vanity, the road of pride, are not roads to salvation. May the Lord let us understand that in His caress as a Father, there is His mercy, His forgiveness, and when we draw close to those who suffer, those who are discarded by society: there we find Jesus. This Door, that is the Door of Charity, the Door where may people are helped, many who are discarded, shows us that it would be good if all of us, all Romans, to know what it means to be discarded, and to feel the need for God's help. Today let us pray for Rome, for all the inhabitants of Rome, starting with me, that the Lord may give us the grace to feel discarded, that we have no worth; only He can give us mercy and grace. To approach that grace we must draw closer to the rejected, the poor, those who are most in need, because it is on this closeness that we will be judged”.
May the Lord today, opening this door, give this grace to all of Rome, to every inhabitant of Rome, so as to move forward in that embrace of mercy, in which the father takes his wounded son, but the wounded one is the father: God is wounded by love, and for this reason He is able to save all of us. May the Lord grant us this grace”.
After the Mass, the Pope greeted the participants and commented that Christmas is drawing hear and the Lord is now close. “But when he was born, in that manger, no-one realised that He was God. This Christmas, I would like the Lord to be born in the heart of every one of us … hidden, as if nobody knew it, but He was there. This is what I would like, this close of the Lord. Pray for me, and I will pray for you”.