Allow Christ to transform and re-create you.
According to Vatican Radio, Pope Francis stressed this to faithful during his daily morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta, drawing from today’s readings, and reflecting on the renewal that the Lord brings.
Yet, the Pope warned, we cannot paint over our sins without truly being ashamed in our hearts. Only by calling sins by their name, he said, will we be able to allow God to make us new women and men.
Recalling that in the first reading, the Prophet Isaiah speaks to us about renewal, that “Everything will be changed, from ugly to beautiful, from wicked to good.” A change for the better: this, he said, is what the People of Israel were expecting from the Messiah.
Reflecting on today’s Gospel which speaks of how Jesus went about healing people, the Jesuit Pope pointed out that they followed Him because He helped them “to see a path of change,” not because He was some “sort of novelty.”
“They followed Him because the message of Jesus touched their hearts,” he said.
Not Make up
What Jesus did, Pope Francis underscored, was not only change things from ugly to beautiful or from wicked to good: “Jesus made a transformation.”
“It’s not a problem of making something beautiful, it’s not a problem of cosmetics, of make-up,” he said, noting, “He changed everything from the inside!”
“He made a change that was a re-creation: God had created the world; man fell into sin; Jesus came to re-create the world. And this is the message, the message of the Gospel, that we can clearly see: before healing that man, He forgave his sins. Go that way, to a re-creation, He re-creates that man, [changing him] from a sinner to a just man: He re-creates him as a just man. He makes him new, totally new.”
“Jesus,” he said, “is capable of making us – us sinners – new persons.” It is something, Pope Francis said, “that Mary Magdalen intuits.”
While she was healthy, he noted,“she had a wound within: she was a sinner.” Yet, he highlighted, she had an intuition that Jesus was able to heal not only the body, “but the wounds of the soul. He could re-create it!”
For this reason, Francis stressed, great faith is needed.
The Lord, the Pope said, “helps us to prepare ourselves for Christmas with great faith” because “for the healing of the soul, for the existential healing the re-creation that Jesus brings requires great faith in us.” Being transformed, he said “is the grace of salvation that Jesus brings.”
Stop Thinking: ‘I Can’t Do It’
“We need to overcome the temptation to say “I can’t do it,” and to allow ourselves instead to be transformed, to be re-created by Jesus. “Courage” is the word of God.”
Instead, especially as we move toward Christmas, Francis noted, we must admit and name our sins, those which make us ashamed, and say: ‘Lord, Re-create me’
The Pope concluded, encouraging us to let Him cancel our sins in order to make us truly new.
Francis concluded, emphasized a passage, which told the story of a Saint, a great Bible scholar, who had a very strong character. The Saint, talking to the Lord said: ‘Are you content, O Lord’ – ‘No!’ – ‘But I have given you everything!’ – ‘No, there’s something missing…’ And this poor man did another penance, said another prayer, did another vigil: ‘I have done this for you, O Lord. Is everything ok? – ‘No! Something’s missing…’ – ‘But what is missing, Lord?’ – ‘Your sins are lacking! Give me your sins!’
“This is what the Lord is asking of us today. ‘Courage! Give me your sins and I will make you a new man, a new woman.’ May the Lord give us faith, to believe this.”