Be servants to one another, pope tells prisoners before washing feet
ROME — Jesus’ gesture of washing His disciples’ feet, an act once reserved to servants and slaves, is one that all Christians, especially bishops, must imitate, Pope Francis told hundreds of inmates and prison employees on Holy Thursday. “Jesus’ rule and the rule of the Gospel” is to serve others and not “to dominate, do evil or humiliate others,” the pope said April 18 during his homily at the Velletri Correctional Facility, 36 miles south of Rome. “The Church asks the bishop to imitate Jesus’ gesture every year — at least once a year — on Holy Thursday,” he said. “The bishop isn’t the most important (person); the bishop must be the greatest servant. And each one of us must be servants to others.”
Pope’s Stations recall the exploited
ROME — Recalling Jesus’ death on the cross, Pope Francis led thousands on Good Friday in reflecting on the crosses of loneliness, fear and betrayal that crucify countless men, women and children in the world. In the annual Way of the Cross in Rome’s Colosseum April 19, the meditation for each station reflected the suffering and pain of people exploited and marginalized. At the 13th station, Jesus is taken down from the cross, the meditation recalled the funeral of 26 young Nigerian women who drowned in the Mediterranean Sea. “Their Calvary,” it read, “was lengthy and difficult. ... Yet their death, like that of Jesus taken down from the cross, was not in vain. We entrust all these lives to the mercy of God our father and the father of all, especially the poor, the desperate and the abased.”
Only risen Christ can bring peace to world at war, pope says at Easter
VATICAN CITY — As the machine of warfare continues to churn out more dangerous weaponry, only the power and joy of Christ’s resurrection can fill hearts with comfort and peace, Pope Francis said before giving his Easter blessing. “May the one who gives us his peace end the roar of arms — both in areas of conflict and in our cities — and inspire the leaders of nations to work for an end to the arms race and the troubling spread of weaponry, especially in the economically more advanced countries,” the pope said as he prepared April 21 to give his Easter blessing “urbi et orbi” (to the city and the world). Jesus’ resurrection from the dead is not only the start of a true renewal that “begins from the heart, from the conscience” but also the beginning of a new world “free from the slavery of sin and death” and now open to God’s kingdom of “love, peace and fraternity,” he said. The pope’s prayer for peace came a few hours after news broke of multiple bombs that exploded in several churches and hotels in Sri Lanka, killing and wounding hundreds in the capital city of Colombo and the cities of Negombo and Batticaloa.
— Catholic News Service