Pope Francis celebrates morning Mass at the Casa Santa Marta April 27, 2020. Credit: Vatican Media.
As much of the world remains under quarantine due to the coronavirus, Pope Francis prayed for artists who show others “the path of beauty” amid lockdown restrictions.
“We pray today for artists, who have this very great capacity for creativity … May the Lord give us all the grace of creativity right now,” Pope Francis said April 27 before his morning Mass.
Speaking from the chapel of the Casa Santa Marta, his Vatican residence, Pope Francis encouraged Christians to recall their first personal encounter with Jesus.
“The Lord always returns to the first meeting, to the first moment in which he looked at us, spoke to us and it gave birth to the desire to follow him,” he said.
Pope Francis explained that it is a grace to return to this first moment “when Jesus looked at me with love … when Jesus, through so many other people, made me understand what was the way of the Gospel.”
“Many times that in life we start a road to follow Jesus … with the values of the Gospel, and halfway we get another idea. We see some signs, and we move away and we conform with a more temporal, more material thing, more worldly,” he said, according to a transcript by Vatican News.
The pope warned that these distractions can lead one to “lose the memory of that first enthusiasm we had when we heard Jesus speak.”
He pointed to Jesus’ words on the morning of the Resurrection recorded in the Gospel of Matthew: “Do not be afraid. Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.”
Pope Francis said it is important to remember that Galilee was the place where the disciples had first met Jesus.
He said: “Each of us has his own internal ‘Galilee’, their own moment in which Jesus approached us and said: ‘Follow me.’”
“The memory of the first meeting, the memory of ‘my Galilee’, when the Lord looked at me with love and said: ‘Follow me,’” he said.
At the end of the Mass broadcast, Pope Francis offered benediction and Eucharistic adoration, leading those following via livestream in an act of spiritual communion.
Those gathered in the chapel then sang the Easter Marian antiphon “Regina caeli.”