I had a wonderful, grace-filled day, that included a visit with a friend that blessed me immensely, Mass at Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in which Fr. Kipling gave an amazing homily, then home to find these words of Pope Francis’ on the same readings.
What Christ came to do – he explained – was to give us citizenship, a belonging to the people, a name and a surname. So from being enemies without peace – he said – Christ has turned us into one by his blood, breaking down the walls that divide.
“We all know that when we are not in peace with others, there is a wall. There is a wall that divides us. But Jesus offers us his service to break down this wall so we can meet. And if we are divided, we are not friends: we are enemies. And he has reconciled us all in God. He has reconciled us as friends, as enemies, as strangers, as sons and daughters.”
From simply being people in the street, people who were not even guests – Pope Francis said – to being “fellow citizens with the holy ones and members of the household of God”. This is what God created with his coming. But what are His conditions? – the Pope asked – “they are to await Him, like servants awaiting their master.”
“Waiting for Jesus. He who does not await Jesus, who closes his door to Jesus, does not allow him to go forward with his work of peace, of community, of citizenship. And he does more: he gives us a name. He renders us children of God. We need to adopt an attitude that contains Christian hope. A Christian is a man or a woman of hope. He or she knows the Lord will come. We do not know when, we do not know at what time, but He will come and He must not find us divided. He must find us as He rendered us with His service: friends living in peace.”
At this point – Pope Francis concluded – there is another question a Christian must ask himself: how do I await Jesus? And first: “shall I wait for Him or not?”:
“Do I have faith in this hope that He will come? Is my heart open to hear Him knocking on the door, to hear Him entering the door? A Christian is a man or a woman who knows how to await Jesus. He or she is a person of hope. Instead a pagan –and so often we Christians behave like pagans – forgets Jesus, thinks of himself, does not await Jesus. The selfish pagan behaves if he himself was a god: ‘I make do on my own’. And he does not end up well, he ends up without a name, without closeness, without citizenship”.
It’s been as if God is speaking to me through all these people and of course the Scripture readings for hours and I am thankful.