Pope Francis’ homily today

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.

From Vatican Radio.  (with a h/t to Fr. Tom Rosica, who sends around to media a most helpful email alerting us to these)

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.

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6 Responses to Pope Francis’ homily today

  1. John Walter S. says:

    Why even bother with the Keys of Heaven? I can go lie, cheat, steal, perform abortions and, you know, God understands and loves me regardless. Or heaven forbid, someone hurts my feelings and tells me I’m wrong and I need to repent my sins. Not very inclusive, very discriminatory.

    You know, being peaceful and serene doesn’t benefit anyone if people are peaceful and serene towards their sinfulness. Work out your salvation in fear and trembling, says the Apostle to the Gentiles. Be inoffensive and fear the politically correct victim group squads, says some Cardinals and bishops.

    • Rev22:17 says:

      John,

      You wrote: Why even bother with the Keys of Heaven? I can go lie, cheat, steal, perform abortions and, you know, God understands and loves me regardless. Or heaven forbid, someone hurts my feelings and tells me I’m wrong and I need to repent my sins. Not very inclusive, very discriminatory.

      Now, you are onto something — the deplorable ease with which confessors have been granting sacramental absolution even when penitents are doing nothing of substance to bring about meaningful change in their lives. How many teens have been confessing to premarital sexual acts with their boyfriends or girlfriends and being told to say five “Hail Marys” and three “Our Fathers” week in and week out? A “penance” ought to entail something that will bring about a fundamental change in the nature of the relationship — NOT cheap grace. It begs the question of why sex on the context of a secular marriage involving a divorced party gets treated differently.

      Norm.

      • EPMS says:

        I suppose in the instance of the girl/boyfriend the priest can hope for, and perhaps explicitly ask for “firm purpose of amendment”. In the case of a cohabiting couple this could not be assumed.

      • Rev22:17 says:

        EPMS,

        You wrote: I suppose in the instance of the girl/boyfriend the priest can hope for, and perhaps explicitly ask for “firm purpose of amendment”. In the case of a cohabiting couple this could not be assumed.

        While evenings spent “alone together” snuggling and petting on the couch, and even frequent “sleepover” visits, continue?

        A relationship that does not involve cohabitation typically is a lot easier to unwind than a relationship that includes the sharing of a home because the latter typically has significant legal and financial entanglements with associated contractual obligations that are enforceable in court under secular law. Those obligations leave many people with no resources to find another home — and economic hardship, or at least a perceived inability to afford a home of one’s own, is often the primary motivation for sharing a home in the first place. This is especially true in more expensive housing markets such as New York, Boston, and San Francisco.

        The norms clearly require action that constitutes clear progress toward a new situation, even if a new situation is not achievable immediately.

        Norm.

      • John Walter S. says:

        Rev
        There are two prongs to this. One, do clerics even have the supernatural faith anymore, or are they just presuming things, “going by the book” and splicing and dicing canon law to justify their laxity?

        Do we, the laity, even include our priests as a part of our community, or do we treat them as the stranger we have to listen to an hour a week? From the perspective of the latter, it would me it seem as if what the priest says is a matter of opinion, no different from those horrid talking heads on the news, rather than harbingers of God’s truth. You can tell by how seriously people listen, but maybe people don’t take seriously what priests have to say anymore.

      • Rev22:17 says:

        John,

        You wrote: There are two prongs to this. One, do clerics even have the supernatural faith anymore, or are they just presuming things, “going by the book” and splicing and dicing canon law to justify their laxity?

        Do we, the laity, even include our priests as a part of our community, or do we treat them as the stranger we have to listen to an hour a week? From the perspective of the latter, it would me it seem as if what the priest says is a matter of opinion, no different from those horrid talking heads on the news, rather than harbingers of God’s truth. You can tell by how seriously people listen, but maybe people don’t take seriously what priests have to say anymore.

        Yes, exactly.

        But perhaps, if more Catholic clergy were preaching the gospel, both in their homilies and in their lives, rather than lecturing congregations on the latest “hot button” political issue, or why they should give more to the collections taken during mass, or whatever other secondary issue might come to mind, the laity would find something of substance to which it would be worth listening.

        And perhaps, if clergy were more personable and affable and open to social interaction with their parishioners, their parishioners would seek to include them in social and communal events.

        On a normal Sunday morning, I pass within a block of perhaps half a dozen diocesan parishes, the combination of which depends upon the particular route that I happen to take on a given Sunday, to assist in the conventual mass of a Benedictine monastery located about ten miles from my home. Why? Because I find worthwhile preaching, authentic worship, and communal fellowship that seem to be lacking in each and every parish that I might bypass en route there.

        And yes, it’s worth the trek — even through the midst of a classic Nor’easter!

        Norm.

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