Pope Francis emphasized humility during his homily at Palm Sunday Mass, celebrated in St. Peter’s Square in Rome.
“This week, Holy Week, which leads us to Easter, we will take this path of Jesus’ own humiliation,” Pope Francis preached, adding:
We will feel the contempt of the leaders of his people and their attempts to trip him up. We will be there at the betrayal of Judas, one of the Twelve, who will sell him for thirty pieces of silver. We will see the Lord arrested and carried off like a criminal; abandoned by his disciples, dragged before the Sanhedrin, condemned to death, beaten and insulted. We will hear Peter, the “rock” among the disciples, deny him three times. We will hear the shouts of the crowd, egged on by their leaders, who demand that Barabbas be freed and Jesus crucified. We will see him mocked by the soldiers, robed in purple and crowned with thorns. And then, as he makes his sorrowful way beneath the cross, we will hear the jeering of the people and their leaders, who scoff at his being King and Son of God.
“This is God’s way, the way of humility,” he continued. “It is the way of Jesus; there is no other. And there can be no humility without humiliation.”
At the conclusion of his homily, Pope Francis recalled “the example of so many men and women who, in silence and hiddenness, sacrifice themselves daily to serve others: a sick relative, an elderly person living alone, a disabled person, the homeless.”
“We think too of the humiliation endured by all those who, for their lives of fidelity to the Gospel, encounter discrimination and pay a personal price,” he added. “We think too of our brothers and sisters who are persecuted because they are Christians, the martyrs of our own time – and there are many. They refuse to deny Jesus and they endure insult and injury with dignity. They follow him on his way.”
During the Angelus address that followed Mass, the Pope recalled that next year’s World Youth Day in Krakow is devoted to the beatitude “blessed are the merciful.”
“Let yourselves be filled by the tenderness of the Father,” the Pope said, before invoking the intercession of the Blessed Mother, that we may “follow the Lord even when his path leads to the cross.”