During his homily at Mass in the chapel of Domus Sanctae Marthae this morning, Pope Francis reflected on the action of God in one’s life.
The Holy Father compared the experiences of the protagonists of the two readings of the day. The first reading recounted God’s promise of a son to Abraham and Sarah while the Gospel recounted Jesus’ curing of a leper.
“The Lord slowly enters the life of Abraham, who is 99 years old when He promises him a son. Instead He immediately enters the life of the leper; Jesus listens to his prayer, touches him and performs a miracle,” the Holy Father said.
“When the Lord intervenes, He does not always do so in the same way. There is no ‘set protocol’ of action of God in our life”, “it does not exist “. Once he intervenes in one way, another time in a different way but He always intervenes. There is always this meeting between us and the Lord.”
The Pope went on to say that the Lord always chooses what way is best to enter our lives. For some, God may act slowly; sometimes so slowly that “we are in danger of losing our patience.”
“Other times, when we think of what the Lord has promised us, that it such a huge thing, we don’t believe it, we are a little skeptical, like Abraham – and we smile a little to ourselves … This is what it says in the First Reading, Abraham hid his face and smiled … A bit ‘of skepticism:’ What? Me? I am almost a hundred years old, I will have a son and my wife at 90 will have a son?”
The Holy Father also noted Sarah’s skepticism, when the three angels visited Abraham and promised a son, saying that we also become impatient or skeptical when God doesn’t intervene or perform a miracle when we want to.
“But He does not, He cannot for skeptics,” the Pope said. “The Lord takes his time. But even He, in this relationship with us, has a lot of patience. Not only do we have to have patience: He has! He waits for us! And He waits for us until the end of life! Think of the good thief, right at the end, at the very end, he acknowledged God. The Lord walks with us, but often does not reveal Himself, as in the case of the disciples of Emmaus. The Lord is involved in our lives – that’s for sure! – But often we do not see. This demands our patience. But the Lord who walks with us, He also has a lot of patience with us.”
Contemplating on the mystery of God’s patience, the Holy Father stated that God “walks at our pace.” Life’s troubles, he said, at times become so dark that it makes us want to come down from the cross.”
“This is the precise moment: the night is at its darkest, when dawn is about to break. And when we come down from the Cross, we always do so just five minutes before our liberation comes, at the very moment when our impatience is greatest “.
“Jesus on the Cross, heard them challenging him: ‘Come down, come down! Come ‘. Patience until the end, because He has patient with us. He always enters, He is involved with us, but He does so in His own way and when He thinks it’s best,” the Pope concluded.
“He tells us exactly what He told Abraham: Walk in my presence and be blameless’, be above reproach, this is exactly the right word. Walk in my presence and try to be above reproach. This is the journey with the Lord and He intervenes, but we have to wait, wait for the moment, walking always in His presence and trying to be beyond reproach. We ask this grace from the Lord, to always walk in His presence, trying to be blameless’.”