Christian life is simple; a Christian does not need to do strange or difficult things, but put Jesus at the center of his or her daily choices. This was the message at the heart of Pope Francis’ homily on Monday during morning Mass.
Resuming the daily Santa Marta Mass after the Christmas break, the Pope remarked on the fact that we have begun a new liturgical season in ordinary time, highlighting however that Jesus is always at the center of Christian life:
“Jesus Christ manifested himself; we are invited to get to know him, to recognize him in our lives and in so many circumstances of life” he said.
The Pope also explained that Saints and apparitions are important, but without Jesus, he said, they would not exist.
Hence, he said, we must ask ourselves the question: “is Jesus Christ at the center of my life? And what is my relationship with Jesus Christ? ”
Thus, the Pope continued, we have three tasks because “to be able to put Jesus at the center we must make sure that we know Him and that we are able to recognize Him.
“In His time many did not recognize him: the doctors of the law, the chief priests, the scribes, the Sadducees and the Pharisees. Indeed, they persecuted Him and they killed Him. We too must ask ourselves: ‘Am I interested in getting to know Jesus? Or am I perhaps more interested in watching soap operas, in gossiping, in pursuing an ambition or talking about the lives of others?’” he said.
To get to know Jesus, the Pope explained, there is prayer, there is the Holy Spirit, “there is also the Gospel, which we should carry with us and read a passage every day. It’s the only way to get to know Jesus. And then the Holy Spirit does the work afterwards. He who makes the seed sprout and grow is the Holy Spirit”.
The second task, Francis continued, is to worship Jesus: “not just asking things of Him and thanking Him”, but praying silently in adoration, and removing from our hearts other things we adore and that capture our interest. “All the rest, he said, is of use only if I am capable of worshiping God alone”.
And the Pope invited the faithful to pray the ‘Glory Be’: “Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit”.
Pointing out that too often we recite it like parrots, he said: “this prayer is adoration!” It is a way of worshiping the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. A little prayer, in silence, before the greatness of God is a way to worship Jesus and say: ‘You are the only one, you are the beginning and the end, and I want to stay with you throughout my life, throughout eternity. It is a way to chase away the things that prevent me from worshiping Jesus.”
The third task, the Pope said, is to follow Jesus, as illustrated in today’s Gospel in which the Lord calls his first disciples. It means putting Jesus at the center of our lives:
“Christian life is simple, but we need the grace of the Holy Spirit to awaken the desire to know Jesus, to worship Jesus and to follow Him. That’s why, during the Collect we asked the Lord what we are called to do and we asked Him for the strength to do it” he said.
Christians, Pope Francis concluded, do not need to do strange, difficult or superfluous things, so let us ask the Lord for the grace to know Jesus, to worship Jesus and to follow Him.[From Vatican Radio]