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The Papal visit will strengthen, comfort and challenge us

By Cian Molloy - 26 March, 2018

Pope Francis comes to challenge us all to be with those families that struggle and fail, says Archbishop Diarmuid Martin in Palm Sunday homily.

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin

Pope Francis is coming to Ireland to strengthen and comfort families and to challenge those who believe success in an empty bourgeois lifestyle makes them better than others, said Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin in his Palm Sunday homily.

Speaking at St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral, Archbishop Martin said: “The announcement of the visit of Pope Francis to the World Meeting of Families inevitably has brought with it an examination of the failings of the Irish Church.”

Already, various organisations have indicated that they will stage demonstrations and protests during the visit.

But irrespective of these organisations’ plans, the Pope will follow his own agenda.

Archbishop Martin said: “Pope Francis comes to strengthen and comfort families. He comes to challenge us all to be with those families that struggle and fail. He comes to challenge those families that believe that success in an empty bourgeois lifestyle, or in a narrow piety of certainty, makes them somehow the better class of family.

“Families are places where people struggle as they search to make the love and fidelity of spouses endure, despite their own human weakness. Families are places where children are loved, night and day in good times and bad.

“Homelessness, or domestic violence, infidelity, unemployment and lack of social support, or forced migration all degrade families. Families are places where in the face of such struggle they still bring light and warmth, even when all the odds are against them.

“Families are places where love is learned and where faith takes roots. Wounded and struggling families are places where God’s love still prevails.

“The ideal family is not the one of the fashion magazines, but the great families are the families to which each of us is deeply indebted.”

Archbishop Martin concluded his homily by saying that the Church of Jesus must be a Church that is counter-cultural to many dimensions in today’s society. He said the Church was not about ‘self-focussed triumphalism’, rather the Church was a community recognised in Jesus, ‘one who made himself slave so that we could live’.”

He prayed: “May our celebration of Holy Week touch our hearts profoundly and lead us to imbibe the self-giving love of Jesus.”

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