What Pope Francis is inviting us all to do —

If you want to understand why Pope Francis is behind movements such as United in Christ and the Fire and Fusion 2014 conference here in Ottawa last weekend, today’s homily at Casa Santa Marta gives a key (my emphases):

Pope: recognize your sins and be transformed by Christ Vatican Radio

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During his homily, Pope Francis reflected on the first letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians which reads: “If anyone among you considers himself wise in this age, let him become a fool, so as to become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in the eyes of God”.

Paul – he said – is telling us that it is the power of God’s Word that brings about a true change of heart, that has the strength  to change the world, giving us hope, giving us life.

He pointed out that this power is not to be found in human knowledge or in man’s intelligence. “Become fools” – Francis exhorted – don’t search for security in your knowledge or in the knowledge of the world”.

And the Pope said that although Paul had studied with the most knowledgeable teachers of his time, he never boasted of his knowledge. In a “scandalous” way – Francis said – he boasted of his sins and of his encounter with Christ and the crucifix, because that encounter between his sins and the blood of Christ is the only salvific encounter there is. And when we forget that encounter – the Pope said – we lose the power of Christ’s strength and we speak of the things of God with a human language, And  this – he said – is useless.

Pope Francis also recalled the Gospel story of Peter and the miraculous catch of fish during which Peter said to Jesus: “Go away from me Lord for I am a sinful man”. In this moment of meeting between his sins and Christ, the Pope said Peter finds salvation.

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