Do we wander aimlessly in our lives without moving forward or are we walking on the path toward the promises of God? Pope Francis posed this question during his homily at Casa Santa Marta this morning.
The Holy Father reflected on three types of Christians: those who trust in the promises of God and follow Him throughout their lives, those whose life of faith is stagnant, and others who lives an “existential tourism.”
Recalling the first reading from Isaiah, the Pope noted that God always makes a promise, a promise of a new life full of joy, before asking anything. The essence of Christian life is to walk toward that promise. However, many times there exists the “temptation to stand still.”
“There are many Christians who stand still!” he exclaimed. “We have so many behind who have a weak hope. Yes, they believe that there will be Heaven and everything will go well. It’s good that they believe, but they do not look for it! They fulfill the commandments, the precepts: everything, everything….But they are standing still.”
“The Lord cannot make of them a leaven in his people, because they do not walk. And this is a problem: those who stand still. Then, there are others among them and us, who go the wrong way: we all sometimes have gone the wrong way, that we know. The problem is not going the wrong way; the problem is not turning back when one realizes that they have made a mistake.”
Focusing on the Gospel of St. John, the Holy Father stated that the royal official who does not doubt Christ’s power to heal his son, is the model of faith that all Christians should follow. But, also there are some who deceive themselves into thinking they are on the right path but are actually wandering.
“They are the wandering Christians, they wander around, wander around as if life was an existential tourism, without a goal, without taking the promises seriously. Those who wander around deceive themselves, because they say: ‘I walk!’.
“No, you don’t walk: you wander,” he said.
“Instead, the Lord asks us to not stop, to not go the wrong way and to not run around your whole life. To wander around your whole life. He asks us to guard the promises, to go forward with the promises like this man, like this man: that man who believed the word of Jesus! Faith puts us on the path toward the promises. Faith in the promises of God.”
Concluding his homily, Pope Francis invited the faithful to take advantage of the Lenten season, a time to reflect on whether one is on the right path or wandering.
“Let us ask the Lord for the grace to go on the path, to go on the way, but toward the promises,” he concluded. (J.A.E.)