God’s Gift and Call Are ‘Irrevocable,’ says Pope Francis

Santa Marta: A Meditation on Saint Paul’s Concept of Election

© L'Osservatore Romano

When God gives a gift, it’s “irrevocable” explained Pope Francis.

The Pontiff presided over the 7:00 am Mass in the chapel of Saint Martha’s Residence in the Vatican, on Monday, November 6, 2017. Here is our translation of the essence of the synthesis published by Vatican Radio in Italian.

The Holy Father stressed how the Readings of the Mass, especially the passage of Saint Paul’s Epistle to the Romans on “election” show that God doesn’t give a gift “today” to “take it back tomorrow” and the same “when God calls, that call remains for one’s whole life.”

“God’s gifts and calls to His people, in the history of salvation,” are in the name of the Three and are “altogether irrevocable” because God is faithful: the “gift of election,” that of “the promise” and that of “the Covenant.” He made the parallel between “Abraham” and every believer.

“Each of us is a chosen one, a chosen one of God. Each of us bears a promise that the Lord has made: “Walk in my presence, be irreproachable and I will do this.” And each of us seals covenants with the Lord. He can do it, He doesn’t will to do it – He is free. But it’s a fact. And one must also ask oneself the question: How do I feel the election? Or do I feel myself Christian by chance? How do I live the promise, a promise of salvation on my journey, and how faithful am I to the covenant? How faithful is He?” continued Pope Francis.

The Pontiff invited to an examination of conscience on this point: before “fidelity itself, which God is, we can only ask ourselves: do we feel His “caress,” the fact that He ‘takes care” of us and that He “seeks us” when we distance ourselves?

The Holy Father quoted Saint Paul in regard to the election. “The Apostle returns at least “four times” to two words, “disobedience” and “mercy.” Wherever the former is, the latter is: behold our path of salvation.

Francis pointed out the path: “This means that, on the path of election towards the promise and the covenant, there will be sins, there will be disobedience, but in face of this disobedience, there is always mercy.  It’s like the dynamic of our walking towards maturity: there is always mercy, because He is faithful, He never takes back His gifts.” Then he wondered: “It’s linked, that is linked, the fact that the gifts are irrevocable, why? Because in face of our weaknesses, our sins, there is always mercy and, when Paul comes to this reflection, he takes a further step: but not a step of explanation for us, but of adoration.”

The Pontiff invited to “adoration” and to “silent praise,” before “this mystery of disobedience and mercy that renders us free” and, before “this beauty of irrevocable gifts which are the election, the promise and the covenant.”

The Pope recommended the “grace to ask” in prayer. “I think this would do all of us good to think today of our election, of the promises that the Lord has made to us and of the way we live the covenant with the Lord. And how I let myself — allow me the expression – to be “mercified” by the Lord, in face of my sins, my disobedience. And, at the end, if I’m capable, as Paul, to praise God for what He has given me, what He has given each one of us: praise and do this act of adoration. However, don’t forget: God’s gifts and call are without regret.”

Translation by Virginia M. Forrester

 

JF

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