Catholic World News

Good Friday: papal preacher reflects on ‘existential and personal’ reconciliation

March 28, 2016

Pope Francis presided at the Celebration of the Passion of the Lord at St. Peter’s Basilica on Good Friday.

As is customary, the preacher to the papal household, Father Raniero Cantalamessa, preached the homily, which was devoted to reconciliation, mercy, and distorted images of God.

Reflecting on a passage from St. Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinithians, Father Cantalamessa said that “the apostle’s call to be reconciled to God does not refer to the historical reconciliation between God and humanity (which, as we just heard, already occurred “through Christ” on the cross); neither does it refer to the sacramental reconciliation that takes place in Baptism and in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.”

“It refers to an existential and personal reconciliation that needs to be implemented in the present,” he continued. “The call is addressed to baptized Christians in Corinth who belonged to the Church for a while, so it is therefore also addressed to us here and now.”

After preaching at length on reconciliation, Father Cantalamessa concluded with a call to mercy in marriage:

What can save a marriage from going downhill without any hope of coming back up again is mercy, understood in the biblical sense, that is, not just reciprocal forgiveness but spouses acting with “compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness and patience” (Col. 3:12). Mercy adds agape to eros, it adds the love that gives of oneself and has compassion to the love of need and desire.

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