Source: Vatican Radio
Pope Francis visited the Roman parish of St Magdalene of Canossa on Sunday afternoon, meeting with young people and the sick and elderly before celebrating Mass with the parish community. His visit began with a conversation with the children and teenagers in the parish sports field.
The Holy Father also met with parents and newborns baptized during the course of the year and with the elderly and sick of the parish in the parish hall.
In off-the-cuff remarks, he told the infirm and elderly that "sickness is a Cross - as you well know - but the Cross is always a seed of life and by carrying it well you are able to give so much life to many people, even without knowing it. Then in Heaven, it will become known. Thank you, he said, for carrying your infirmity in this way."
Pope Francis then met with parishioners active in faith formation and pastoral outreach before celebrating the Sacrament of Penance with several people.
The Holy Father's visit concluded with the celebration of Mass in the parish church. In his homily, he reflected on the day's Gospel reading, which recounts Jesus' Transfiguration. He spoke of the "two faces of Jesus", one "brilliant in the Transfiguration" and the other face of his Passion and Crucifixion, when "he was made sin for us" (cfr 2 Cor 5,21).
Pope Francis said that, during the season of Lent, the Church "is on the path towards Easter, towards the Resurrection. With the confidence of the Transfiguration we go forward, he said, seeing this brilliant, beautiful face, which is the same face as the Resurrection and the same we will find in Heaven."