Pope Francis was the principal celebrant and homilist at Mass for Egyptian Catholics in the “Air Defense Stadium” in Cairo on Saturday.
In his homily, focused on the Gospel reading for the 3rd Sunday of Easter, which tells of Our Lord’s going to meet the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, the Holy Father said, “The encounter with the Risen Jesus transformed the lives of those two disciples because meeting the Risen One transforms every life, and makes fruitful what is barren.”
He went on to say, “Faith in the resurrection is not a product of the Church, but the Church herself is born of faith in the resurrection.”
Pope Francis then spoke of the need to proclaim our faith in the resurrection precisely by living in a way that conveys our conviction, saying, “Dear brothers and sisters, God is pleased only by a faith that is proclaimed by our lives, for the only fanaticism believers can have is that of charity,” and, “any other fanaticism does not come from God and is not pleasing to him,” and then encouraged the gathered faithful to be like the disciples of Emmaus.
“Filled with joy, courage and faith,” he said, “return to your own Jerusalem, that is, to your daily lives, your families, your work and your beloved country. Do not be afraid to open your hearts to the light of the Risen Lord, and let him transform your uncertainty into a positive force for yourselves and for others. Do not be afraid to love everyone, friends and enemies alike, because the strength and treasure of the believer lies in a life of love!”
The Holy Father invoked the protection of Our Lord, Jesus, his Blessed Mother, and her most chaste spouse, St. Joseph, over the whole land and people.
“May Our Lady and the Holy Family, who dwelt in this venerable land of yours, enlighten our hearts and bless you and this beloved country of Egypt, which at the dawn of Christianity welcomed the preaching of Saint Mark, and throughout its history has brought forth so many martyrs and a great multitude of holy men and women.”
Click here to read the full homily.