Morning Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae

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Pope's Morning Homily: 'Every Day, Another Step' Is Way to Reach Our Conversion

At Casa Santa Marta, Says We Must Make Constant Effort to Open Door to Holy Spirit

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“Conversion is a duty” that takes daily effort, says Pope Francis, so that the door of our heart is opened more and more to the Holy Spirit.

The Pope made this point during his morning homily today at the Casa Santa Marta, reported Vatican Radio.

Pope Francis commented on the reading from St Paul to the Romans to emphasize that in order to pass from a life of iniquity to a life of sanctity, we must work at it every day.

Saint Paul, the Pope said, uses the image of the athlete, the man who “trains in order to prepare himself for game, and makes a great effort.”

Also in our effort to reach the victory of Heaven, Saint Paul, the Pope said, “exhorts us to go forward with this effort.”

“Ah, Father, are we able to think that sanctification comes through the effort I make, like the victory that comes to sportsmen through training? No. The efforts we make, this daily work of serving the Lord with our soul, with our heart, with our body, with our whole life only opens the door to the Holy Spirit. It is He who enters into us and saves us! He is the gift in Jesus Christ! Otherwise, we would make ourselves like fakirs: No, we are not fakirs. We, with our efforts, open the door.”

Pope Francis acknowledged that this is a difficult task, “because our weakness, original sin, the devil” are always trying to get us to turn back. The author of the Letter to the Hebrews, he said, “warns us against this temptation to turn back”; he warns us “not to go back, not to fall.” We need to continue to go forward,“a little bit each day,” even “when there is great difficulty.”

“A few months ago, I met a woman. Young, the mother of a family – a beautiful family – who had cancer. An ugly cancer. But she moved with happiness, she acted like she was healthy. And speaking about this attitude, she told me, ‘Father, I would do anything to beat the cancer!’ It’s that way with the Christian. We have received this gift in Jesus Christ and we have passed from sin, from the life of iniquity to the life of the gift in Jesus, in the Holy Spirit; we must do the same. Every day a step. Every day a step.”

Pope Francis pointed out some obstacles, such as the “desire to gossip.” And in that case, he said, you need to make the effort to be silent. Otherwise, if we don’t work to overcome temptations, “there comes a little bit of slumber,” and we won’t have the “will to pray” – but then we try to pray a little bit anyway.

These small efforts, the Pope said, “help us not to fall, not to go back, not to return to iniquity but to go forward toward this gift, this promise of Jesus Christ which is precisely the encounter with Him. Let us ask this grace from the Lord: to be strong, to be strong in this training of life towards the encounter, that we might receive the gift of justification, the gift of grace, the gift of the Spirit in Christ Jesus.”

Daily readings provided by the US bishops’ conference:


Thursday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 476

Reading 1

ROM 6:19-23

Brothers and sisters:

I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your nature.

For just as you presented the parts of your bodies as slaves to impurity

and to lawlessness for lawlessness,

so now present them as slaves to righteousness for sanctification.

For when you were slaves of sin, you were free from righteousness.

But what profit did you get then

from the things of which you are now ashamed? 

For the end of those things is death.

But now that you have been freed from sin and have become slaves of God,

the benefit that you have leads to sanctification,

and its end is eternal life.

For the wages of sin is death,

but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Responsorial Psalm

PS 1:1-2, 3, 4 AND 6

R. (Ps 40:5) Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.

Blessed the man who follows not

the counsel of the wicked

Nor walks in the way of sinners,

nor sits in the company of the insolent,

But delights in the law of the LORD

and meditates on his law day and night.

R. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.

He is like a tree

planted near running water,

That yields its fruit in due season,

and whose leaves never fade.

Whatever he does, prospers.

R. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.

Not so the wicked, not so;

they are like chaff which the wind drives away.

For the LORD watches over the way of the just,

but the way of the wicked vanishes.

R. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.


PHIL 3:8-9

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

I consider all thing so much rubbish

that I may gain Christ and be found in him.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.


LK 12:49-53

Jesus said to his disciples:

“I have come to set the earth on fire,

and how I wish it were already blazing!

There is a baptism with which I must be baptized,

and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished!

Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth?

No, I tell you, but rather division.

From now on a household of five will be divided,

three against two and two against three;

a father will be divided against his son

and a son against his father, 

a mother against her daughter

and a daughter against her mother,

a mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law

and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”

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