On April 29, the second and final day of his apostolic journey to Egypt, Pope Francis celebrated an outdoor Mass at the Egyptian Air Defense Stadium in Cairo.

During the homily, the Pope reflected on the encounter between the risen Lord and the disciples on the way to Emmaus.

“The experience of the disciples on the way to Emmaus teaches us that it is of no use to fill our places of worship if our hearts are empty of the fear of God and of his presence,” he preached. “It is of no use to pray if our prayer to God does not turn into love for our brothers and sisters. All our religiosity means nothing unless it is inspired by deep faith and charity.”

CWN - The Pope continued: "God is pleased only by a faith that is proclaimed by our lives, for the only fanaticism believers can have is that of charity! Any other fanaticism does not come from God and is not pleasing to him!

So now, like the disciples of Emmaus, filled with joy, courage and faith, 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!"

Following Mass, the Pope had lunch with the nation’s bishops.Before departing for Rome, Pope Francis met with Egyptian priests, religious, and seminarians at the seminary in Cairo.

The Pope encouraged them not to give in to seven temptations, including “the temptation to let ourselves be led, rather than to lead,” and “the temptation to complain constantly.”

“Do not be afraid of the burdens of your daily service and the difficult circumstances some of you must endure,” he said. “We venerate the Holy Cross, the instrument and sign of our salvation. When we flee the Cross, we flee the resurrection!”

The Pope added: "Egypt has enriched the Church through the inestimable value of monastic life. I urge you, therefore, to draw upon to the example of Saint Paul the Hermit, Saint Anthony, the holy Desert Fathers, and the countless monks and nuns who by their lives and example opened the gates of heaven to so many of our brothers and sisters.

You too can be salt and light, and thus an occasion of salvation for yourselves and for all others, believers and non-believers alike, and especially for those who are poor, those in need, the abandoned and discarded."

References:


Teachings of Christ

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied." (Matthew 5:6 ESV)

Protection of the Mother of God

Protected by your coming, O Mother of God, * the faithful people celebrate today with splendor, * and, gazing at your most pure image, * we say with compunction: * "Shield us with your precious veil * and deliver us from all evil * imploring your Son, Christ our God, to save our souls.” (Troparion - Tone 4)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Today the Virgin stands forth in the Church, * and with the choirs of saints she invisibly prays to God for us. * The Angels worship with the hierarchs, * and the apostles exult with the prophets, * because, in our behalf, the Mother of God entreats the pre-eternal God. (Kontakion - Tone 3)

The Church celebrates the Feast of the Protection of the Mother of God on October 1st.

Exaltation of the Cross

Save Your people, O Lord, and bless Your inheritance; * grant victory to Your Church over her enemies * and protect Your commonwealth by Your Cross. (Troparion - Tone 1)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Willingly lifted up on the Cross, O Christ God, * bestow Your compassions upon the new commonwealth that bears Your name. * By your power grant joy to Your Church, * granting her victory over her enemies. * May she have your Cross as the weapon of peace * and the invincible ensign of victory. (Kontakion - Tone 4)

The Church celebrates the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross on September 14th.

Random Proverb

"The wage of the righteous leads to life, the gain of the wicked to sin." (Proverbs 10:10 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

BROTHER: What is purity of soul?

OLD MAN: Remoteness from anger and from the error of the remembrance of evil things, and being weaned from the bitter nature, and reconciliation with our enemies, and peace which is beyond troubling, and simplicity of love which is above this world; with these things is the inner man cleansed, and he puts on Christ and is redeemed.


E. A. Wallis Budge, "The Paradise of the Holy Fathers"