On Palm Sunday, Pope Francis emphasized that Jesus chose to endure the suffering and isolation of His Passion and Crucifixion in order to remain close to those experiencing sorrow or hardship.
The Pope delivered this message during the Palm Sunday Mass at St. Peter’s Square on April 2, underscoring that Jesus faced abandonment so as not to leave us in despair, promising to stay by our side perpetually. He sought to convey that Jesus is present in our most trying times.
Pope Francis celebrated the Mass shortly after being released from Rome’s Gemelli Hospital, where he had been admitted for a three-day treatment for bronchitis. Approximately 60,000 people attended the papal Mass according to the Vatican.
Pope Francis gently assured the faithful that regardless of the circumstances they encounter, Jesus is always with them. He also pointed out that Jesus can be found in those who have been forsaken, citing the example of a homeless man from Germany who died in St. Peter’s Square the previous year.
Pope Francis called on followers to look after the most vulnerable, lonely, and suffering, as they closely resemble Jesus. He identified these individuals as the exploited, impoverished, migrants, prisoners, and those who have been dismissed or deemed troublesome. According to the Pope, these people are “Christs” to us and deserve our love and compassion.
During his homily, Pope Francis focused on Jesus’ cry to the Father, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” He expounded that Jesus bore the world’s sins and felt abandoned to draw nearer to us.
Afterwards, the Pope observed over two and a half minutes of silence before the singing of the Creed. He encouraged believers to remember that Jesus is always with them, even in their darkest moments.