ROME — Just as Jesus told the disciples, “Do not let your hearts be troubled,” he says the same thing to his followers today amid “the dramas of life,” Pope Francis said.
“But what can we do so that our hearts are not troubled, because our hearts do become troubled,” he said May 10 before reciting the “Regina Coeli” prayer from the papal library in the Apostolic Palace.
In this “Regina Coeli” talk and at Mass that morning, Pope Francis focused on Jesus’ “last discourse” to the disciples at the Last Supper, a part of which was the day’s Gospel reading, Jn 14:1-12.
He also noted that in Italy and many other countries, May 10 was Mother’s Day. “I want to remember with gratitude and affection all mothers, entrusting them to the protection of Mary, our heavenly mother,” he said. “My thoughts also go to the moms who have passed on to the next life and accompany us from heaven.”
In his main midday address, the pope said there are two “remedies” for a troubled heart. The first is to trust in Jesus and the second is to believe his promise that those who love him will be with him forever in heaven.
“We do not live without a goal and a destination,” the pope said. Jesus “has reserved a place for us in heaven. He took on our humanity to carry us beyond death to a new place in heaven so that where he is, we also may be.”
“God is in love with us; we are his children,” the pope said. “We were made for heaven, for eternal life, to live forever.”
In the same Gospel reading, Jesus tells his disciples, “I am the way, the truth and the life.”
“To go to heaven, the path is Jesus; it is having a living relationship with him, imitating him in love, following in his footsteps,” the pope said.
The path Jesus points to is “the path of humble love, prayer, meekness, trust and service to others,” he said. “It is moving forward each day asking him, ‘Jesus, what do you think of this choice of mine? What would you do in this situation, with these people?’”
At his early morning Mass that day, Pope Francis had focused on the last two lines from the Gospel reading: “Whatever you ask in my name, I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it.”
Jesus wants people to have the same trust in the Father that he had, the same “courage to pray because praying requires courage,” the pope said. “It requires the same courage, the same frankness that is needed to preach.”
In the day’s first reading, the apostles choose deacons to care for the poor, telling the community, “It is not right for us to neglect the word of God to serve at table.”
“The first task of a bishop is to pray,” the pope said, adding that it is “sad” to see a good bishop so overwhelmed with administrative tasks and finances that he thinks he has no time to pray.
“This is how the church moves forward: with prayer, with the courage of prayer,” he said. “Because the church without this ascent to the Father cannot survive.”