Vatican City, 09 April, 2020 / 3:00 pm (ACI Africa).
Here is the full text of Pope Francis' Holy Thursday homily, delivered April 9 at the Basilica of St. Peter.
The Eucharist. Service. Anointing. The reality we live today in this liturgy is the Lord who wants to remain with us in the Eucharist. And we always become tabernacles of the Lord. We bear the Lord with us to the point that he himself tells us that if we do not eat his body and drink his blood, we will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven. This is the mystery of the bread and wine of the Lord with us, in us, within us.
The service. That gesture that is a condition for entering the Kingdom of Heaven. Serve, yes, everyone, but the Lord -- in that exchange of words he had with Peter -- makes him understand that to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, we must let the Lord serve us, that the Servant of God is the servant of us. And this is difficult to understand. If I do not let the Lord be my servant, allow the Lord to wash me, to help me grow, to forgive me, I will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
And the priesthood. Today I would like to be close to priests. All of them -- from the most recently ordained to the pope, we are all priests. The bishops, all ... We are anointed, anointed by the Lord; anointed to offer the Eucharist, anointed to serve.
Today we did not have the Chrism Mass. I hope we will be able to have it before Pentecost, otherwise we will have to postpone it until next year. But I cannot let this Mass pass without mentioning the priests. Priests who offer their lives for the Lord, priests who are servants. In recent days, more than 60 have died here in Italy, in the care of the sick in hospitals, and also with doctors, nurses ... They are "the saints next door,” priests who gave their lives by serving.