Domingo de Ramos: “En la cruz Jesús nos enseña a amar y perdonar a los enemigos” / Pope at Palm Sunday Mass: With Jesus, it is never too late

En una humanidad dividida entre oprimidos y opresores, el Papa alentó a todos a seguir el ejemplo de Jesús en la cruz, quien ante el inmenso dolor que padecía, “no pensó en salvarse a sí mismo”, ni respondió a sus verdugos con gritos o rabia, sino que rezó a Dios para que los perdone.

Sofía Lobos – Ciudad del Vaticano

La mañana del 10 de abril, Domingo de Ramos, el Papa Francisco celebró la Santa Misa precedida por la procesión y bendición de las palmas de olivo en una soleada Plaza de San Pedro.

Ante la presencia de los fieles y peregrinos allí congregados, el Santo Padre reflexionó sobre el Evangelio del día según San Lucas (Lc 22, 14–23, 56) que narra la Pasión de Jesús y destacó que en el Calvario se enfrentan dos mentalidades:

“Las palabras de Jesús crucificado en el Evangelio, «Padre, perdónalos porque no saben lo que hacen» (v. 34), se contraponen, en efecto, a aquellas que pronuncian los soldados que lo crucifican: «Que se salve a sí mismo si este es el Mesías de Dios, el elegido!» (Lc 23,35)”.

Lent 2017: Reflection for Palm Sunday, April 9 – On Jesus's way of active  nonviolence

La mentalidad del “yo” se opone a la entrega de Dios
En este sentido, Francisco señaló que “salvarse a sí mismo”, es decir, cuidarse a sí mismo, pensar en sí mismo y no en los demás, “es el estribillo de la humanidad que ha crucificado al Señor”, y que solamente se preocupa “por la propia salud, el propio éxito, los propios intereses; se centra en el tener, en el poder y en la apariencia”.

Sin embargo -continuó explicando el Pontífice- la mentalidad del yo se opone a la de Dios; “el sálvate a ti mismo discuerda con el Salvador que se ofrece a sí mismo y cuando toma la palabra, no se defiende ni se justifica o reivindica algo en su beneficio, sino que reza al Padre y ofrece misericordia al buen ladrón”, que crucificado junto a Él y arrepentido por sus pecados, pide al Hijo de Dios que se acuerde de él cuando llegue al paraíso.

Jesús implora al Padre que perdone a quienes le hacen daño
Asimismo, el Papa invitó a todos a reflexionar sobre las palabras de Jesús en la cruz, quien en medio del dolor lacerante que padecía no recurrió a los gritos ni a la rabia, “no reprocha a sus verdugos ni amenaza con castigos en nombre de Dios”, sino que reza por los malvados y dice “Padre, perdónalos”:

“Clavado en el patíbulo de la humillación, aumenta la intensidad del don, que se convierte en per-dón”

Igualmente, en su alocución, Francisco hizo hincapié en que Dios hace lo mismo con nosotros: “Cuando le causamos dolor con nuestras acciones, Él sufre y tiene un solo deseo: poder perdonarnos”.

Y para darnos cuenta de esto, el Santo Padre exhortó a contemplar a Jesús en la cruz y a agradecerle por su amor, siendo conscientes “de que nunca hemos recibido una mirada más tierna y compasiva”, ya que allí, “mientras es crucificado, en el momento más duro, Jesús vive su mandamiento más difícil: el amor por los enemigos”.

Respondamos a los clavos de la vida con el amor
Sin embargo, Francisco recordó que, a menudo, nuestro comportamiento es totalmente el opuesto, “perdemos mucho tiempo pensando en quienes nos han hecho daño, mirándonos dentro de nosotros mismos y lamiéndonos las heridas que nos han causado los otros, la vida, la historia”.

“Hoy Jesús -dijo el Pontífice- nos enseña a no quedarnos ahí, sino a reaccionar, a romper el círculo vicioso del mal y de las quejas, a responder a los clavos de la vida con el amor y a los golpes del odio con la caricia del perdón”.

¿Seguimos a Jesús o al propio instinto rencoroso?
Por otra parte, el Santo Padre alentó a todos a preguntarse si en el curso de sus vidas, “¿siguen al Maestro o siguen al propio instinto rencoroso?”.

Y, precisamente, para verificar nuestra pertenencia a Cristo, el Papa exhorta a observar cómo nos comportamos con quienes nos han herido, puesto que el Señor nos pide que no respondamos según nuestros impulsos o como lo hacen los demás, sino como Él lo hace con nosotros, viniendo al mundo para traernos el perdón de los pecados:

“Compasión y misericordia para todos, porque Dios ve en cada uno a un hijo. No nos separa en buenos y malos, en amigos y enemigos. Somos nosotros los que lo hacemos, haciéndolo sufrir. Para Él todos somos hijos amados, que desea abrazar y perdonar”, aseveró Francisco indicando la importancia de no cansarnos de pedir perdón a Dios, ni tampoco de recibirlo y testimoniarlo.

Dios puede perdonar todo pecado
Finalmente, el Pontífice subrayó el argumento que utiliza Jesús ante el Padre al suplicarle que perdone a quienes lo están crucificando, “porque no saben lo que hacen”.

Cuando se usa la violencia -declaró Francisco-ya no se sabe nada de Dios, que es Padre, ni tampoco de los demás, que son hermanos. Se nos olvida porqué estamos en el mundo y llegamos a cometer crueldades absurdas. Lo vemos en la locura de la guerra, donde se vuelve a crucificar a Cristo. Sí, Cristo es clavado en la cruz una vez más en las madres que lloran la muerte injusta de los maridos y de los hijos. Es crucificado en los refugiados que huyen de las bombas con los niños en brazos. Es crucificado en los ancianos que son abandonados a la muerte, en los jóvenes privados de futuro, en los soldados enviados a matar a sus hermanos.

“En esta semana -concluyó el Papa- acojamos la certeza de que Dios puede perdonar todo pecado, toda distancia… La certeza de que con Jesús nunca es el fin, nunca es demasiado tarde y caminemos hacia la Pascua con su perdón”.

Pope at Palm Sunday Mass: With Jesus, it is never too late

Presiding over the liturgy of Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion, Pope Francis encourages us to journey toward Easter with God’s forgiveness, and recalls that as Christ gazes upon “our violent and tormented world,” Jesus never tires of repeating: “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”

By Deborah Castellano Lubov

With Jesus, it is never too late. With Him, things are never over.

Pope Francis underscored this during his homily on Palm Sunday, insisting that no matter how dire a situation may be, it is never too late to begin again since the Lord waits for us with His mercy.

The Pope presided over the liturgy of Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion in St. Peter’s Square, marking the first time since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic that the Holy Father could lead the celebration among numerous masked faithful outdoors, rather than from inside St. Peter’s Basilica with very limited numbers permitted to protect against contagion.

‘Father, forgive them’
The Holy Father began his homily remembering how on Calvary, “two ways of thinking collided.” In the Gospel, the Pope observed, the crucified Jesus’ words of forgiveness are in sharp contrast with those who crucified Him, who kept saying to Christ: “Save yourself.”

The Pope highlighted how God’s way of thinking goes against this self-centred suggestion, noting, “The mantra save yourself collides with the words of the Saviour who offers His self.” The Lord did not defend or justify Himself. Rather, He prayed to the Father, offered mercy to the good thief, and said: “Father, forgive them” amid “the most searing physical pain” of His Passion.

At times like that, the Pope pointed out, “we would scream out and give vent to all our anger and suffering. But Jesus said: Father, forgive them.”

Jesus, the Pope recalled, did not rebuke His executioners or threaten punishments in the name of God, but rather prayed for the evildoers. The Pope then said that God does the same with us.

“When we cause suffering by our actions, God suffers yet has only one desire: to forgive us”

“Let us look to Jesus on the Cross,” the Pope said, and “realize that we have never been looked upon with a more gentle and compassionate gaze” nor ever “received a more loving embrace.”

The Pope invited faithful to look at the crucified Lord and say: “Thank you, Jesus: you love me and always forgive me, even at those times when I find it hard to love and forgive myself.”

Palm Sunday 2022: Full text of Pope Francis' homily | Catholic News Agency

Jesus asks to break vicious cycle
“Let us think about someone who, in our own lives, injured, offended or disappointed us; someone who made us angry, who did not understand us or who set a bad example,” the Pope invited, saying, “How often we spend time looking back on those who have wronged us!”

Today, the Holy Father insisted, “Jesus teaches us not to remain there, but to react, to break the vicious circle of evil and sorrow.”

God, the Pope reminded, “sees a son or a daughter in each person.” The Lord, he insisted, does not separate us into good and bad, friends and enemies. “We are the ones who do this, and we make God suffer.”

“For Him, all of us are His beloved children, children whom He desires to embrace and forgive.”

Never tires of forgiving
According to the Gospel, the Pope remembered, Jesus did not say to forgive those crucifying Him once as He was being nailed to the Cross, but spent all His crucifixion with these words on His lips and in His heart.

“God never tires of forgiving. He does not put up with us for a while and then change His mind, as we are tempted to do.”

“Let us never grow tired of proclaiming God’s forgiveness: we priests, of administering it; all Christians, of receiving it and bearing witness to it,” the Pope said.
In folly of war, Christ crucified again
Those who crucified Christ, the Pope observed, had premeditated His killing, organized His arrest and trials, and now they were standing on Calvary to witness His death. Regardless, he stated, Christ justifies those violent men by saying that “they know not.”

This, the Holy Father explained, “is how Jesus acts in our regard: He makes Himself our advocate. He does not set Himself against us, but for us and against our sins.” These words make us think, the Pope said.

“When we resort to violence,” the Pope continued, “we show that we no longer know anything about God, who is our Father, or even about others, who are our brothers and sisters. We lose sight of why we are in the world and evFhimen end up committing senseless acts of cruelty.”

“We see this in the folly of war, where Christ is crucified yet another time,” the Pope said.

‘You will be with me in Paradise’
“Christ is once more nailed to the Cross in mothers who mourn the unjust death of husbands and sons. He is crucified in refugees who flee from bombs with children in their arms. He is crucified in the elderly left alone to die; in young people deprived of a future; in soldiers sent to kill their brothers and sisters.”

The Pope reminded that only one person responded to Jesus’ invitation to leave the past and start new while Jesus was on the Cross, namely “a criminal,” crucified next to Jesus, who said “Jesus, remember me.”

“The good thief accepted God as his life was ending, and in this way, his life began anew,” the Pope said. “In the hell of this world, he saw heaven opening up: ‘Today you will be with me in Paradise.'” This, the Pope said, is the marvel of God’s forgiveness, “which turned the last request of a man condemned to death into the first canonization of history.”
With God, it is never too late
During Holy Week, the Holy Father said, “let us cling to the certainty that God can forgive every sin, bridge every distance, and turn all mourning into dancing. The certainty that with Jesus, there is always a place for everyone. That with Jesus, things are never over. That with Him, it is never too late. “

“With God, we can always come back to life. Take courage!”

The Holy Father concluded by inviting faithful to journey toward Easter with His forgiveness, certain that Christ constantly intercedes for us before the Father.

“Gazing upon our violent and tormented world,” Pope Francis said, Jesus “never tires of repeating: ‘Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.'”