During his homily at Casa Santa Marta this morning, Pope Francis said that Christians who seem “allergic” to preaching are, in fact, afraid of opening the door to the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Father drew his homily from today’s Gospel where Jesus compares the generation to unhappy children who always refuse the invitation of others to sing or dance.
“For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they said, ‘He is possessed by a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking and they said, ‘Look, he is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners,’” the Gospel says.
These people, the Pope explained are “not open to the Word of God” and use the excuse that it is not the message but the messenger that is the problem.
“And they, the people of that time, preferred to find refuge in a more elaborate religion: in moral precepts, like that group of Pharisees; in political compromise, like the Sadducees; in social revolution, like the zealots; in gnostic spirituality like the Essenes. They were with their well cleaned system, well-done. But the preacher, no!” he said.
“Even Jesus reminds them: ‘Your fathers did the same to the prophets’. The people of God have a certain allergy to preachers of the Word: the prophets, they persecuted them, killed them.”
Comparing to today’s world, the Holy Father said that there are Christians who are like the ones spoken of by Jesus and are “afraid of the freedom of the Holy Spirit that comes through preaching.” The scandal of preaching, he continued, “that ends in the scandal of the Cross.”
“It is scandalizing that God speaks through men with limitations, sinful men: it scandalizes! And even more scandalizing that God speaks to us and saves us through a man that says that He is the Son of God but ends up like a criminal. That scandalizes,” the Pope said.
Preaching comes to warn you, to teach and even to correct you, he went on to say, and that is precisely the freedom that comes from it. Sad Christians who dismiss preaching, are in fact afraid of opening the door to the Holy Spirit.
Concluding his homily, Pope Francis prayed for them as well as for all so “that we may not become sad Christians. (J.A.E.)