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Do not forget prayer or the poor, retreat master tells Pope, Curia

March 08, 2017

Preaching to Pope Francis and members of the Roman Curia during their Lenten retreat, Father Giulio Michelini, a Franciscan friar and biblical scholar, reflected on Matthew 26:1-19.

During this second meditation of the retreat, which took place on the afternoon of March 6, the priest reflected on the silence of Jesus, the breaking of the alabaster jar of ointment, and the words “the poor you will always have with you.” Father Michelini called on retreatants neither to neglect prayer nor the poor.

During the third meditation on the morning of March 7, the priest—following a suggestion from his nephew via text message—referred to the 2016 Italian comedy Perfect Strangers as he reflected on Matthew 26:20-35.

Father Michelini called upon the retreatants to leave behind distrust, to work for Christian unity, and not to remain in palaces, ignoring the poor. He also called upon them to heed St. Ignatius of Loyola’s exhortations to self-control in food and to reflect on the teaching of the encyclical Laudato Si’, in which Pope Francis lamented that food is wasted while others go hungry.


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