Central Forgiving Pope Becomes Moral Guide in Our Tempest Boats “Like the disciples, we will experience that with him on board there will be no shipwreck.”-His Own Nourishing Word Shakes Kingdoms and Churches

Pope Francis, white figure standing alone at center, delivers an Urbi et Orbi blessing from the empty St. Peter’s Square, at the Vatican, on March 27, 2020. Francis has likened the coronavirus pandemic to a storm laying bare illusions that people can be self-sufficient and instead finds “all of us fragile and disoriented” and needing each other’s help and comfort. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

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Pope Francis says ‘We are all in the same boat,’ during Urbi et Orbi ceremony

The Urbi et Orbi, meaning to the city and the world, is a blessing usually delivered by the Roman pontiff at Christmas and Easter. It offers plenary indulgence, which means the forgiveness of sins to the faithful present and watching through media (future) outlets.

Still another fabrication was needed to enable Rome to profit by the fears and the vices of her adherents. This was supplied by the doctrine of indulgences. Full remission of sins, past, present, and future, and release from all the pains and penalties incurred, were promised to all who would enlist in the pontiff’s wars to extend his temporal dominion, to punish his enemies, or to exterminate those who dared deny his spiritual supremacy.  Great Controversy by Ellen G White pg 59.1

Pope Francis, white figure standing alone at center, delivers an Urbi et Orbi blessing from the empty St. Peter’s Square, at the Vatican, on March 27, 2020. Francis has likened the coronavirus pandemic to a storm laying bare illusions that people can be self-sufficient and instead finds “all of us fragile and disoriented” and needing each other’s help and comfort. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

March 27, 2020

By 

Claire Giangravé

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VATICAN CITY (RNS) — As the world grapples with the spread of the coronavirus, Pope Francis delivered a homily of hope on Friday (March 27), comparing the pandemic to a storm that can be overcome only by coming together in faith.

“We have realized that we are on the same boat, all of us fragile and disoriented, but at the same time important and needed, all of us called to row together, each of us in need of comforting the other, he said during his homily in front of a rainy St. Peter’s Basilica, before an empty square and a single priests.

Amid this pandemic, Francis said, we “have realized that we cannot go on thinking of ourselves, but only together can we do this.”

The pope delivered his homily after the eucharistic adoration during his extraordinary Urbi et Orbi ceremony, which he announced on Sunday (March 22).

The Urbi et Orbi, meaning to the city and the world, is a blessing usually delivered by the Roman pontiff at Christmas and Easter.

It offers plenary indulgence, which means the forgiveness of sins to the faithful present and watching through media outlets.

Francis drew from the day’s Gospel lesson, found in the fourth chapter of Mark, which relates the story of Jesus and his apostles being caught in a storm while on a boat. The pope said the story can offer spiritual guidance about how to face the coronavirus pandemic.

Just as it happened with the disciples, the pope said, we too are faced with a “darkness.”

“Thick darkness has gathered over our squares, our streets and our cities; it has taken over our lives, filling everything with a deafening silence and a distressing void, that stops everything as it passes by; we feel it in the air, we notice in people’s gestures, their glances give them away,” Francis said.

“We find ourselves afraid and lost,” he added.

The words are especially true in Italy, among the countries that has suffered the most casualties due to the pandemic. The entire peninsula has been under quarantine since March 9, with people not being able to leave their homes except to go to the supermarket and pharmacy stores. In the Catholic-majority country, all Masses, weddings and funerals have been banned.

From Bohemia the light extended to Germany, for disturbances in the University of Prague caused the withdrawal of hundreds of German students. Many of them had received from Huss their first knowledge of the Bible, and on their return they spread the gospel in their fatherland.
Tidings of the work at Prague were carried to Rome, and Huss was soon summoned to appear before the pope. To obey would be to expose himself to certain death. The king and queen of Bohemia, the university, members of the nobility, and officers of the government united in an appeal to the pontiff that Huss be permitted to remain at Prague and to answer at Rome by deputy. Instead of granting this request, the pope proceeded to the trial and condemnation of Huss, and then declared the city of Prague to be under interdict.
In that age this sentence, whenever pronounced, created widespread alarm. The ceremonies by which it was accompanied were well adapted to strike terror to a people who looked upon the pope as the representative of God Himself, holding the keys of heaven and hell, and possessing power to invoke temporal as well as spiritual judgments. It was believed that the gates of heaven were closed against the region smitten with interdict; that until it should please the pope to remove the ban, the dead were shut out from the abodes of bliss. In token of this terrible calamity, all the services of religion were suspended. The churches were closed. Marriages were solemnized in the churchyard. The dead, denied burial in consecrated ground, were interred, without the rites of sepulture, in the ditches or the fields. Thus by measures which appealed to the imagination, Rome essayed to control the consciences of men.
The city of Prague was filled with tumult. A large class denounced Huss as the cause of all their calamities and demanded that he be given up to the vengeance of Rome. To quiet the storm, the Reformer withdrew for a time to his native village. Writing to the friends whom he had left at Prague, he said: “If I have withdrawn from the midst of you, it is to follow the precept and example of Jesus Christ, in order not to give room to the ill-minded to draw on themselves eternal condemnation, and in order not to be to the pious a cause of affliction and persecution. I have retired also through an apprehension that impious priests might continue for a longer time to prohibit the preaching of the word of God amongst you; but I have not quitted you to deny the divine truth, for which, with God’s assistance, I am willing to die.”—Bonnechose, The Reformers Before the Reformation, vol. 1, p. 87. Huss did not cease his labors, but traveled through the surrounding country, preaching to eager crowds. Thus the measures to which the pope resorted to suppress the gospel were causing it to be the more widely extended. “We can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth.” 2 Corinthians 13:8. GC 100.2 – GC 101.2

In the passage described in the Gospel, the apostles are fear-stricken and ask for the intervention of Jesus, who is asleep on the boat.

When he is awakened, after calming the storm, he asks his disciples, “Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?”

“The storm exposes our vulnerability and uncovers those false and superfluous certainties around which we have constructed our daily schedules, our projects, our habits and priorities,” Francis said.

Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.Hebrews:10:25Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) Hebrews:10:23

The pandemic, he said, “shows us how we have allowed the very things that nourish, sustain and strengthen our lives and our communities” to become “dull and feeble.”

If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.1 Timothy:4:6

“The tempest lays bare all our prepackaged ideas and forgetfulness of what nourishes our people’s souls; all those attempts that anesthetize us with ways of thinking and acting that supposedly ‘save’ us, but (they) instead prove incapable of putting us in touch with our roots and keeping alive the memory of those who have gone before us,” he said. 

“We deprive ourselves of the antibodies we need to confront adversity.”

For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.John:6:33

The pope condemned the way humanity has treated the environment, taking it for granted and seeking greed rather than justice. “We carried on regardless, thinking we would stay healthy in a world that was sick,” he said.

This present time, Francis added, is “a time of choosing.”

As we are asked to stay at home and put social life on hold, people have a chance to “choose what matters and what passes away, a time to separate what is necessary from what is not,” he said.

The Pope pointed to the numerous examples of faith that guide humanity through their witness and work, including the efforts of priests, social workers, volunteers, nurses, supermarket employees and doctors.

They teach us, the pope said, to offer ourselves to others amidst this pandemic.

“Let us invite Jesus into the boats of our lives. Let us hand over our fears to him so that he can conquer them,” he said. “Like the disciples, we will experience that with him on board there will be no shipwreck.”

An icon of the Virgin Mary holding the infant Jesus, known as Salus Populi Romani, and the crucifix of San Marcello were displayed in front of St. Peter’s Basilica during the ceremony.

Pope Francis visited the two religious artifacts, historically used to pray for the end of plagues, when he walked through the streets of Rome on March 15.

Pope walks through the candles/churches like Jesus moves in Revelation 2/3. This is the antichrist. Run.

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