Pope Francis, commenting the Second Letter to Timothy, in the Timoty homily ,at the morning Mass in Casa Santa Marta, He focused on the end of the apostles who, like St. Paul in the final phase of his life, they experience loneliness and poverty: “Only , mendicant, a victim of aggressive, abandoned. But he is the great Paul, the one who has heard the voice of the Lord, the Lord’s call! he went from side to side, he has suffered so many things and so many tests for the preaching of the Gospel, he made it clear to the apostles that the Lord wanted that the Gentiles entered into church, the great Paul who into his prayer it went up in seventh heaven and he heard things that no one had heard before: the great Paolo, in that little room of a house, here in Rome, waiting for how it will end this struggle within the Church between the parties, between the rigidity of Judaizing and those disciples faithful to him.This is the end of Paolo life, in desolation, not in resentment, but with the inner desolation.
The same order was for St. Peter and John the Baptist, that “in his cell, alone, distressed,” sends his disciples to ask Jesus if he is the Messiah and he ends up with his head cut off for “the caprice of a dancer and the revenge of an adulterous “. So it happened to Maximilian Kolbe, “which had an apostolic movement throughout the world and so many great things” and he died in the cell of a lager.
“The apostle when he is faithful – said the Pope – he does not expect another end different from Jesus.” But the Lord – even in prison – remains close to him, “do not leave him alone and he finds the strength.” So Paul dies. “This is the Gospel law: if the grain seed does not die, it does not bear fruit.” Then the resurrection comes.
A theologian of the first centuries said that the blood of martyrs is the seed of Christians: “To die as martyrs, as witnesses of Jesus is the seed that dies and gives the fruit and fills the earth with new Christians. When the pastor lives in this way he is not bitter: perhaps he desolation, but he has the certainty that the Lord is with him. But when the pastor, in his life, does not take care of the faithful – he is for example attached to the power, he is attached to money, he is attached to the cartels, he’s attached to so many things – in the end he will not be alone, maybe there will be grandchildren, they will wait to die to see what they can bring with them. ”
“When I go to visit the house of rest for elderly priests – ends the homily Pope Francis – I find many of these good priests, who gave his life for the faithful. And they are there, they are sick, the paralyzed, in a wheelchair, but once you see the smile. ‘All right, Lord; It is good, Lord ‘, because they feel the Lord very close to them. And with bright eyes that they ask, ‘How is your church? How is your diocese? How are vocations? ‘. Until the end, because they are fathers, because they gave their lives for others. Let’s go back to Paul. Alone, mendicant, a victim of aggressive, abandoned by all, but not by the Lord Jesus: ‘Only the Lord was near me!’. And the Good Shepherd, the shepherd has this certainty: if he goes on the way of Jesus, the Lord will be close until the end. ”
“We pray for the pastors who are at the end of their lives – incites the Pontiff – and they’re waiting for the Lord will take them with him. And we pray that the Lord give them the strength, comfort, and safety that although they feel sick and even alone, the Lord is with them, near them. May the Lord give them strength. “