Pontiff Stresses Importance of Faith

Urges Doing God’s Will With Humility

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PALERMO, Italy, OCT. 4, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI is underlining faith as the foundation of the Christian life and the fundamental thing to ask of God.

On Sunday, during a pastoral trip to the island of Sicily, the Pope celebrated an outdoor Mass in Palermo. In his homily, he spoke about faith, «which is the foundation of the whole Christian life.»

The Pontiff noted: «Jesus taught his disciples how to grow in faith, to believe in him and entrust themselves to him more and more, to build their lives upon the rock. Thus, they ask him: ‘Increase our faith’ (Luke 17:6).»

«It is a great request that they make of the Lord,» he affirmed. «It is the fundamental request.»

The Holy Father continued: «The disciples do not ask for material goods; they do not ask for privileges; rather they ask for the grace of faith, that orients and illuminates life as a whole; they ask for the grace to recognize God and to be able to abide in an intimate relationship with him, receiving from him all his gifts, including those of courage, love and hope.»

«Faith — trusting Christ, welcoming him, allowing him to transform us, following him completely — makes humanly impossible things possible in every situation,» Benedict XVI affirmed.

He stated that «the wicked one, he who does not act in obedience to God, puts his trust in his own power, but he is leaning on something fragile and inconsistent — that is why he will slip, he is destined to fall.»

On the other hand, the Pope said, «the just man» puts his trust «in a reality that is hidden but unshakable, he trusts in God and because of this he will have life.»

Humble servants

The Pontiff noted that «the second part of today’s Gospel presents another teaching, a teaching about humility that, nevertheless, is closely connected with faith.»

«Jesus invites us to be humble and offers the example of a servant who works in the fields,» he said.

The Holy Father explained: «Jesus makes us aware that, before God, we find ourselves in a similar situation: We are God’s servants; we are not his creditors but we are always debtors in relation to him because we owe him everything, because everything is his gift. 

«Accepting and doing his will is the way that we must live every day, in every moment of our life.»

«Before God we must not present ourselves as those who believe that they have done a service and deserve a great recompense,» Benedict XVI said. «This is an illusion that can arise in everyone, even in persons who do much work in the Lord’s service, in the Church.»

He urged, «We must instead be aware that we never do enough for God.»

«This is an attitude of humility that truly puts us in our place and permits the Lord to be very generous with us,» the Pope stated.

«In fact,» he added, «in another passage of the Gospel, he promises us that ‘he will gird himself, have us sit at table and will serve us’ (cf. Luke 12:37).»

«Dear Friends,» the Pontiff said, «if we do the Lord’s will every day, with humility, without expecting anything from him, Jesus himself will serve us, help us, encourage us, give us strength and peace.»

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On ZENIT’s Web page:

Full text: http://zenit.org/article-30536?l=english

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