Pope Francis celebrates Mass in Santa Marta

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Pope's Morning Homily: 'Guard Your Hope'

At Casa Santa Marta, Warns Against ‘Show’ or ‘Entertainment’ Religion Seeking Novelties, Revelations

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Guard and take care of your hope, and do not be swayed by ‘show or entertainment religion’ that constantly seeks novelty and revelations.
According to Vatican Radio, during his morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta today, Pope Francis made these exhortations, comparing this type of ‘religion’ to fireworks that impress us at first, then sizzle out.
The Holy Father drew his inspiration from today’s readings about Jesus’ response to the Pharisees asking when the Kingdom of God would come. Francis compared Jesus telling them that “the Kingdom of God is among you,” to a small seed that is planted and grows on its own over time. Without drawing attention to it, God helps the seed grow, the Jesuit Pope noted.
“The Kingdom of God is not a ‘show’ religion: one that is always seeking new things, revelations, messages,” Francis stressed, reminding those present that “God spoke through Jesus Christ: this is the last Word of God.”
Not Fireworks
“The other one is like fireworks that lit you up for a moment and then what is left behind?  Nothing. There is no growth, there is no light, there’s nothing: just an instant. And we have been tempted many times by this entertainment religion of seeking things that are extraneous to the revelation, to the meekness of the Kingdom of God that is among us and which grows.”
However, the Pope pointed out, this is not about hope, but about the desire to have something in our hands.
“Our salvation comes from hope, the hope of a man who sows the seed or the woman who makes the bread, mixing yeast and flour: a hope that grows. Instead, this artificial brightness only lasts an instant and then it dies away, like fireworks: they are not needed for giving light to a house. It’s just a show.”
Guard Hope Always …With Patience
After asking those present to think about what they should do as they wait for the fullness of the Kingdom of God, he recommended we must guard and take care of our hope.
“Guard it with patience. Patience in our work, in our sufferings… Guarding it like the man who has planted a seed and who takes care of the plant, ensuring there are no weeds close to it, so it will grow. Guard our hope.
He then put some questions to those present: ‘If the Kingdom of God is among us today, if all of us have this seed inside us, if we have the Holy Spirit there, how do I guard it? How do I discern this, how can I discern the good plant from the seed of the darnel?’ The Kingdom of God grows and what must we do?
“Guard it,” he answered. “Grow through hope and guard that hope. Because we have been saved through hope. And this is the thread: hope is the thread in the history of salvation. Our hope of meeting the Lord for sure.”
Hope, he explained, is what strengthens the Kingdom.
“Let us ask ourselves: Do I have hope? Or do I go ahead as best I can without knowing how to tell the good from the bad, the darnel seed, the light, the meek light of the Holy Spirit from the brightness of this artificial thing? Let us ask ourselves about our hope in this seed that is growing inside us and on how to guard our hope.
“The Kingdom of God is among us,” the Pope reaffirmed, “but we must, through rest, work, discernment, guard the hope of this Kingdom of God that grows until the time when the Lord will come and everything will be transformed.
“In a brief moment: everything! The world, us, everything” will be transformed, Pope Francis stressed, noting that as Paul said to the Christians of Thessalonica, ‘We shall be with the Lord for ever.’”

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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, often from the Papal Flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has also asked him questions on the return-flight press conference on behalf of the English-speaking press present. Lubov has done much TV & radio commentary, including for NBC, Sky, EWTN, BBC, Vatican Radio, AP, Reuters and more. She also has contributed to various books on the Pope and has written for various Catholic publications. For 'The Other Francis': http://www.gracewing.co.uk/page219.html or https://www.amazon.com/Other-Francis-Everything-They-about/dp/0852449348/

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