(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Sunday celebrated Mass at the Roman parish of Regina Pacis (Queen of Peace) in the suburb of Ostia. During his homily on the day’s Gospel, the Pope focused on the words of Christ at the Last Supper: “Remain with me.” The Christian life, he said, consists precisely in remaining in Jesus. “To remain in Jesus means to be united to Him, to receive life from Him, to receive love from Him, to receive the Holy Spirit from Him.”
Before the Mass, the Holy Father met with members of the parish, including they elderly and the sick. He spoke about their wisdom of life, which comes from experience – an experience the has the wisdom of sorrows, and of patience. “It is a wisdom we often forget,” he said. But the elderly have an experience of life that they hand down to their children, giving them “the memory of our people, the memory of our family.” The sick, he said, are similar to Jesus in their suffering: they suffer with Him, and bear the Cross as Jesus did. In that sense, they are privileged. Pope Francis spoke, too, about the children of the parish, who will carry life forward – with the wisdom, the patience, the constancy of those who go before them.
As he concluded his visit with the sick and elderly, the Pope asked for prayers for himself, noting that he too “is a little old, a little sick – but not too much.”
The Pope also met with families who have had children baptized within the past year. Baptism, Pope Francis said, is a beautiful step to take. It is the beginning of the life of faith, which children receive from their parents. The children recently baptized are the latest in a chain that goes back all the way to the beginnings of Christianity.
But he warned parents not to drift away from the Church after their children are baptized. Pope Francis said it is important to be with the children in their journey of faith, to walk with the children in their new faith, and to stay close to the local parish. After blessing the families, the Holy Father said he prayed especially for any problems they may have.
Pope Francis also heard the Confessions of several parishioners immediately before the Liturgy.
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