Vatican City, Jun 3, 2014 / 06:08 am
In his daily homily Pope Francis reflected on how Jesus advocates for us in heaven, emphasizing that he does this by showing the Father his wounds, the price he paid for our sin.
"He shows his wounds to the Father, and Jesus, with his wounds, prays for us as if to say to the Father: 'But, Father, this is the price of these! Help them, protect them,'" Pope Francis explained to those in the Vatican's Saint Martha guesthouse in his June 3 daily Mass.
"They are your children whom I have saved with these."
Looking to the day's readings, taken from the Acts of the Apostles and from the Gospel of John, the pontiff observed how the people of Miletus were sad at the news of Paul's departure, as were the disciples when Jesus left them before "going to Gethsemane and beginning His Passion."
Drawing attention to how in his prayer at Gethsemane, Jesus "speaks to the Father and says 'I pray for them,'" the Bishop of Rome stressed the importance of these words, and noted that Jesus also tells us, "You are all of the Father. And I pray for you before the Father."
"Jesus does not pray for the world," but "he prays for us" and he "prays for the Church," he explained.
Referring to John's words in the Gospel, the Pope noted that the apostle, in "thinking about these things and speaking of us, who are great sinners," says "Do not sin, but if any of you do sin, know that we have an advocate before the Father, one who prays for us, defends us in front Father, justifies us."
"I believe we should really think about this truth, about this reality," he said. "Jesus is praying for me right now."
"I can go on in life because I have an advocate who defends me, and if I am guilty and I have so many sins...he is a good defense attorney and will speak of me to the Father."
Observing that Jesus is "the first advocate" of the Father, the Pope explained that whenever we have problems in life, whether in our family or in our work or our parish, we ought to go to Jesus and ask him to pray for us.
But "How does Jesus pray?" he asked, saying "I don't believe he talks too much with the Father. He doesn't talk: He loves."
"There is one thing that Jesus does today, I'm certain he does this. He shows his wounds to the Father and Jesus, with his wounds, prays for us."
Going on, the Roman Pontiff explained that the proof of knowing Jesus prays with his wounds is that after the resurrection, Jesus did not "have this glorious body, beautiful with no bruises, no wounds from the scourging, everything nice."
"There were wounds. The Five Wounds," he noted, asking, "Why did Jesus want to bring them to heaven? Why?"
"To pray for us. To show the price (he paid) to the Father: 'This is the price, now do not abandon them. Help them.'"
Pope Francis then drew attention to the importance of having faith, pointing out "that right now Jesus intercedes before the Father for us, for all of us" and that when we pray to him, we must never forget to ask for his prayers.
"Jesus, pray for me. Show the Father your wounds that are mine too, they are the wounds of my sin. They are the wounds of my problem at this moment in time," he prayed, saying that when we do this, "Jesus the intercessor only has to show the Father his wounds."
"And this is happening today, at this very moment," he concluded. "We are confident that he is doing this for everyone. We must have faith in this prayer of Jesus with his wounds before the Father."