Pope Francis celebrates Mass in Santa Marta


Pope's Morning Homily: People of God Are on Journey to Meet God, Deepen Faith

At Casa Santa Marta, Francis Reiterates the Importance of Confession

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The life of every Christian is a journey of going out to meet God and working to deepen their faith.
According to Vatican Radio, Pope Francis stressed this during his daily morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta this morning.
The Pope’s homily focused on today’s readings in which St. Paul tells the story of Salvation leading up to Jesus.
Observing that over the course of history many of our conceptions have changed, Francis noted that God has made himself known throughout history, noting His salvation goes back a long way in time.
Long History
Salvation, Francis explained, has a great and a long history during which the Lord “guided his people in good and in bad moments, in times of freedom and of slavery,» in a journey «populated by saints and by sinners on the road towards fullness, towards the encounter with the Lord.”
While noting that at the end of the journey is Jesus, the Holy Father noted, “it doesn’t end there,” because Jesus gave us the Spirit who allows us to “remember and to understand Jesus’ message.»
A second journey therefore begins, he highlighted, namely that «to understand, to deepen our understanding of Jesus and to deepen our faith,” which is needed “to understand moral teaching, the Commandments.”
He went on to observe that some things “once seemed normal and not sinful, are today conceived as mortal sins.»
«Think of slavery: at school they told us what they did with the slaves taking them from one place and selling them in another.» He said that in the past, some deemed it acceptable because people believed that some did not have a soul, but today we believe «it’s a mortal sin.»
Francis lamented that today, in substance, there are certainly still slaves, though «we know that to enslave someone is to commit a mortal sin.»
The death penalty too, he said «was considered [a] normality,» but today, we say that it is unacceptable. The wars of religions too, he noted, could fall into this category.
Hidden Saints
As we go ahead deepening our faith and clarifying the dictates of morality, the Pope said, «there are saints, the saints we all know, as well as the hidden saints.»
Noting the Church is full of hidden saints, the Holy Father noted that their holiness «will lead us to the ‘second fullness’ when the Lord will ultimately come.”
«The people of God,» Francis said, «are always on their way,” and if they stop, “they become like prisoners in a stable, like donkeys.” If that’s the case, they cannot understand, go forward, deepen their faith, and love and faith do not purify their souls.
Our Fullness
The third ‘fullness’ of our time, Francis said, is ‘ours.’
«Each of us,» the Pope explained, “is on the way to the fullness of our own time. Each of us will reach the moment in which life ends and there we must find the Lord. Each of us is on the go,” and Jesus sent us the Holy Spirit to guide our way.
Francis reminded of the importance of going to Confession as we make this journey. He invited faithful to ask themselves whether during confession, there is not only the shame for having sinned, but also the understanding that in that moment they are taking a “step forward on the way to the fullness of times.”
“To ask God for forgiveness is not something automatic,» Francis acknowledged, saying, “It means that I understand that I am on a journey, part of a people that are on a journey,” and that eventually “I will find myself face-to-face with God, who never leaves us alone, but always accompanies.»
Pope Francis concluded, pointing out that this «is the great work of God’s mercy.»

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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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