Sofia, Bulgaria, May 5, 2019 / 09:06 am
The Lord works with imperfect situations and imperfect people, so persevere in holiness, Pope Francis encouraged Catholics in Bulgaria Sunday.
"The Lord does not wait for perfect situations or frames of mind: he creates them. He does not expect to encounter people without problems, disappointments, sins or limitations," the pope said at Mass May 5.
Jesus "himself confronted sin and disappointment in order to encourage all men and women to persevere," he continued. "In Jesus, God always offers us another chance. He calls us day by day to deepen our love for him and to be revived by his eternal newness. Every morning, he comes to find us where we are."
Pope Francis celebrated Mass in Sofia, Bulgaria, on the first day of a May 5-7 trip to Bulgaria and North Macedonia. Catholics are a minority in the country; they are estimated to be fewer than 50,000 in a population of over 7 million.
According to organizers, there were an estimated 7,000 people at Mass with Pope Francis.
In his homily, the pope reflected on the day's Gospel reading, when the resurrected Jesus appears to a group of his disciples while they are fishing in the Sea of Galilee.
Peter had returned to his old life as a fisherman, he said. "The weight of suffering, disappointment, and of betrayal had become like a stone blocking the hearts of the disciples. They were still burdened with pain and guilt, and the good news of the resurrection had not taken root in their hearts."
In the face of failure, hurt, or even the fact that at times things do not go the way we want, there always comes a subtle and dangerous temptation to become disheartened and to give up, he said. This is the tomb psychology that tinges everything with dejection and leads us to indulge in a soothing sense of self-pity that, like a moth, eats away at all our hope.