“When the Lord takes up the defense of his people it is like this: he is a relentless warrior and saves his people,” Pope Francis said Nov. 16.
God “saves (and) renews everything: ‘All creation was made anew in its nature as before.’ ‘The Red Sea became a road without obstacles,’” the Roman Pontiff preached, recounting the first reading, from the book of Wisdom.
Our salvation comes when God hears “the prayer of his people, because he has heard in his heart that his chosen ones suffer,” he explained.
The Pope then turned to the Gospel story in which a poor widow persistently begs an unjust judge to render a verdict on her behalf.
This widow’s perseverance reveals the true strength of humanity: that of prayer.
“And what is the power of men? What is the power of mankind? That of the widow: to knock at the heart of God, knocking, asking, lamenting many problems, many sorrows, and asking the Lord for freedom from these sorrows, from these sins, from these problems.”
God has the power to save man, but “the power of man is prayer.” Most especially, “the prayer of the humble man is the weakness of God,” he emphasized.
“God is weak only in this: he is weak in respect to the prayers of his people … the culmination of the power of God, the salvation of God” is in “the Incarnation of the Word.”
The Lord “does and will do justice to his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night,” added the Pope.
The persistent widow in the Gospel “was brave” and never tired in her pleas, he said.
“You are like the widow: pray, ask, knock at the heart of God, every day.”
“Always remember that God is powerful. He is capable of making all things new, but he also has a weakness: our prayer.”
Pope Francis concluded by thanking the priests of St. Peter’s Basilica who were present at the Mass, reminding them of the power of their intercession in “praying to the Lord for the many needs of the Church, of humanity, of all.”
“Thank you for this work…and continue on for the good of the Church.”
Preaching his homily during Mass at the chapel of Santa Marta in the Vatican, the Pope stressed God's unwavering dedication to redeeming mankind.