I've already written another post that Pope Francis' demeanor during the celebration of Mass is very pre-Vatican II. He comes across as a different person or persona as he celebrates the Mass compared to when he simply presses the flesh and visits with people such as after the Palm Sunday Mass.
Even Vatican Insider, Andrea Tornielli, takes the world press to task for reporting that during the Mass the Holy Father looked tired or in a bad mood. And yes the photo above would give the happy clappy types who want to drag happy-clappy antics into the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass where we stand as believers at the Foot of the Cross where Jesus hangs in agony and then in death! How stupid is that? If we truly understood as Pope Francis does, that the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is serious business and not a pep rally, we would all celebrate Mass as Pope Francis does.
Even when the Pope is celebrating Mass outside of the Vatican Walls at Roman parishes that seem to consistently use happy clappy Italian Folk music, he remains serious and glum looking. The same at the fiasco of musical entertainment style of the Masses in Brazil. Watch the pope and see the disconnect between his authentic liturgical piety and the pep rally entertainment style of liturgical music that is so often the case today in so many places.
From the Vatican Insider:
At the Palm Sunday Mass, Francis reeled off a list of Bible characters asking faithful to think about which one they identified themselves withANDREA TORNIELLI vatican city
The entire square fell silent when the Pope began his Palm Sunday homily, marking the start of Holy Week. Francis looked serious and deep in concentration as he left his prepared text to one side and began by asking himself and all those present the big question: Which Biblical figure do I identify myself with?
His questions - which started with “Am I like…” - obviously moved the crowd; there is no other way to explain the silence that accompanied the Pope’s brief but intense reflection. Some tried to play down Francis’ homily as “similar to those pronounced in many parishes this Sunday”. But this is coming from individuals who never lose a chance to talk down the Argentinian Pope’s words, probably because they are incapable of understanding that it is possible to be profound and simple at the same time.
“It would do us good to ask ourselves one question: Who am I before the Lord, who am I before Jesus who enters a Jerusalem during a time of celebration? Am I able to express my joy and shout it to the world or do I take my distance? Who am I before the suffering Jesus? We have heard so many names. The group of leaders, the Pharisees, experts in the law who decided to kill him and were waiting for the opportune moment to get him. Am I one of them?” the Pope asked.
“Am I like Pontius Pilate who walks away from his responsibilities when the situation gets tough, allowing others to be sentenced or sentencing people?” Francis went on to ask. “Or am I like the crowd of people who weren’t quite sure whether they were at a religious gathering, a trial or a circus and chose Barabas because to them it was the same; it was all the more fun because they could humiliate Jesus. Am I like the soldiers who beat Jesus, spit at him, insult him and enjoy humiliating the Lord?”
“Am I like those leaders who went to Pontius Pilate the next day to tell him that Jesus said he would be resurrected and blocked life by blocking the entrance to the tomb to defend the doctrine, so that life could not come out?”
Francis looked serious as he pronounced these questions. His seriousness was mistaken for tiredness or a bad mood by those who are not able to understand that for those who have faith, reliving Jesus’ Passion is no walk in the park and that the liturgy is not a show. At the end of the mass Francis spent a long while in St. Peter’s Square socializing and joking with the many young people present. Indeed, the Pope did not look serious because he was tired or in a bad mood. He was simply in deep concentration as he always is when celebrating one of the mysteries. This is something some Vatican observers fail to grasp, but simple faithful understand fully and they made this clear with their silence and presence.