The foundation of our faith rest on that first encounter with Jesus Christ. These were the words of Pope Francis during his homily at Casa Santa Marta.
According to Vatican Radio, the Holy Father reflected on the impact an encounter with Christ has on one’s life. He drew from today’s first reading, which recounted St. Paul’s conversion from one who persecuted the early Christians to one chosen by God “to carry my name before Gentiles, kings, and children of Israel.”
The Pope noted that this first encounter, like many others in the Bible, is the one that changes one’s life. He called on the faithful to never forget their first encounter with Christ.
“He never forgets, but we forget the encounter with Christ,” he said. “And this would be a good assignment to do at home, to consider: ‘When have I really felt that the Lord was close to me? When have I felt the need to change my life, or to become better, or to forgive someone? When have I felt the Lord asking something of me? When have I encountered the Lord?’”
Our faith, the Holy Father continued, “is an encounter with Jesus.”
“This is the foundation of our faith: I have encountered Jesus, as Saul did.”
‘A Memory of Love’
Continuing his homily, the 78 year old Pontiff invited the faithful to pray daily, in order to remember that first encounter with Christ. He also said that by reading the Gospels daily, one can see the work of God in Jesus’ encounters with others.
So many encounters with Jesus are there. Maybe one of them is similar to mine. Each one of us has his own,” he said.
Concluding his homily, Pope Francis asked the faithful to pray for the “grace of memory…so that we might not hear the complaint the Lord makes in Revelation: ‘I have this against you, that you have forgotten your first love’.”