Mass marking Pope Francis' 4th anniversary of election celebrated in Amman

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Mass marking Pope Francis' 4th anniversary of election celebrated in Amman

By Munir Bayouk- en.abouna.org

The Apostolic Nunciature in Jordan marked the 4th anniversary of the election of His Holiness Pope Francis as leader of the worldwide Catholic Church by celebrating Mass at St. Mary of Nazareth Church in Sweifieh, Western Amman, on Tuesday May 16.

The Mass was presided over by Latin Patriarchal Vicar for Jordan Bishop William Shomali and concelebrated by Apostolic Nuncio to Jordan Archbishop Alberto Ortega Martín, as well as a number of vicars and priests. Present at the Mass were nuns, civil and diplomatic figures, in addition to a large number of believers from various parts of Jordan.

In his homily, Bishop Shomali said, "Pope Francis was elected as Pope when he was 76 years old. We never expected from a 76-year-old Pope to do what he has done for the Church and for the world within a short period of four years."

Thanking the Holy Spirit who inspired the cardinals to choose the right man at the right time and in the right place, he recalled some of the Pope's activities. He said: "On prophetic and teaching level, Pope Francis wrote two important apostolic exhortations, one about the Church's primary mission of evangelization in the modern world and the other about Christian marriage. He inducted a Year of Mercy through his Bull Misericordiae Vultus. He wrote two important encyclicals one about faith and the other about climate and ecology. His daily homilies are not less important. Through them, he wants to share with his people the daily bread of the word of God. His homilies are short, direct, simple and deep. Their power comes from the fact that they actualize the readings of the day and do not aim at giving subjective views."

He added: "Many of us have read his last homilies delivered in Cairo and Fatima. In Cairo, he addressed thousands of Coptics who could not forget the attacks on their churches which took place on Palm Sunday. And in a country where many religious people live, Pope Francis said: 'The only fanaticism that believers can have is that of charity'. In Fatima, on the occasion of the centenary of the apparitions of our Lady, he said: 'Life can survive only because of the generosity of other lives.”

Referring to Pope Francis' liturgical dimension, Bishop Shomali said: "Latin Pope Francis succeeded in proclaiming 38 new saints. Among them we find very famous figures and others almost unknown. He canonized Pope John XXIII, JP II, Mother Theresa of Calcutta, and the two young visionaries of Fatima. How can we forget that during his pontificate two Arab saints from our diocese were canonized? They were Myriam Bawardi and Marie Alphonsine Ghattas?"

On Pope Francis' role in the field of charity, Bishop Shomali said, "Pope Francis unrelentingly drew attention to the plight of the poor, migrants and refugees, and to those who struggle with their marital situations, seeking for them the balm of God's mercy and the possibility of a return to full communion with the Church. For this purpose, he changed some articles of the Cannon Law to facilitate the procedures of marriage annulment."

He continued that the Pope "has so far made 19 trips outside Italy to confirm churches, to promote ecumenism and interreligious dialogue, to support the poor, and to proclaim important principles of justice… He visited Brazil, Jordan, Palestine and Israel, Turkey, Cuba, Armenia, Poland, Sweden, and most recently Egypt and Portugal. His future trips include Columbia and South Soudan, among others."

Summarizing Pope Francis' pontificate, he said: "He emphasized the centrality of mercy, the ministry to the poor, the importance of joy, the synodity of the church and the strong need to reform. In a sense, His reforms of the Church are already working; they have already set the Church on a different trajectory and revealed a new image."

Bishop Shomali concluded by thanking Lord Jesus for having given us such a universal pastor. He also wished the Pope good health in order to continue his ministry and the reform he started.

For his part, Apostolic Nuncio to Jordan Archbishop Alberto Ortega Martín thanked the believers for coming to share in the moment of prayer for the Holy Father.

He added:"You know the love of the Pope for the Holy Land and for the Middle East in general, and specially his closeness to the Christians of this blessed land, who sometimes face huge difficulties as is the case in Syria or Iraq. Many people of those countries are welcomed here. When Pope Francis came to Jordan, he appreciated publicly the generous welcome that this country offers to so many refugees and the good conviviality that exists here among Muslims and Christians, among people from different cultures and religions. The Holy Father always insists in the culture of encounter to promote peace and stability."

He added: "It is very touching that every time the Pope meets someone, or during the celebrations, he always asks the people to pray for him."

He concluded by saying, "I give thanks to God with you for the gift that the Holy Father, Pope Francis, is not just for the Church but for the whole world, and I ask you to continue to pray for him."

Tue, 05/16/2017 - 23:31
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